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Tonight marks a return to the Percussion Extravaganza concept of our percussion concerts. What this means for you as audience members is the opportunity to enjoy a sampling of what defines Adams State Percussion all at one time in one place. First and foremost, we value collaboration and diversity. Tonight’s concert will be no exception.
We’re honored to premiere a truly unique and beautiful new work by composer Molly Herron. We’ll feature the music education course—Percussion Methods—on their first percussion ensemble performance of their academic careers. The SLV Community Steel Band returns to the stage, the Music of the Americas Project will play classic tunes by legendary Trinidadian pan performers and composers, and will perform traditional samba batucada from Brazil. To bookend the collaborations, we’re pleased to set short films created by Professor Leslie Macklin’s Foundations in Art and Design to our very own original compositions.
Thank you for joining us and enjoy the show!
-The Destruction of Sennacherib is a bombastic work for percussion ensemble and narrator composed by Jeffrey Barudin. The original text, derived from the Bible, is poetry by Lord Byron (1788-1824) published in 1815 and depicts the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem on 701 BC.
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
-The ASU Marimba Band provides service to the campus and greater SLV community, and performs popular music and traditional music of Central America. El Marinero, "The Sailor," is a traditional marimba tune from Honduras.
-Dave Molk is a Denver-based composer with deep connections to percussion and new music. I find this work to be a perfect blend of art music and EDM, equally at home in a dance club or a concert hall. Molk says this about his work, dreams:
Written for the So Percussion Summer Institute (SoSI) 2016, dreams premiered as a trio plus electronics. Two non-pitched multi-setups anchor dreams, their complicated rhythms alternating dialogue and unison yet always supporting and propelling the piece forward to ever-greater highs. A virtuosic vibraphone is placed front and center, weaving in and out of the electronics (live mixed or pre-recorded), creating pulsating melodies that flicker with colorful licks.
-Molly Herron composed Spring Planting for the Adams State University Percussion Department and we are delighted to premiere the piece this evening. She scored the piece to include three metal rulers, two pitched gongs, two crotales, and two flower pots.
Herron writes music for a variety of new music ensembles, including So Percussion. She says this about Spring Planting:
I starting writing this piece in the early spring and was going back and forth between composing and getting seedlings ready for the warming earth outside. There seemed to me to be some kind of corollary between the strange little sound world I was finding with the ruler and the mysteries of soil and insects and sprouting seeds.
-The Percussion Methods class is an upper-divisional course designed to teach percussion pedagogy to music education majors. Tonight’s performers are vocalists, wind players, and string players, all combining to perform Texas-based composer Ralph Hicks’ Low Tide and are conducted by percussion graduate student, Andrew Naughton.
-Derek Tywoniuk is a Los Angeles-based composer, educator and percussionist. He says this about his marimba quartet, Happenstance:
At its heart, Happenstance is a piece about camaraderie. Relationships are often the result of relative coincidence, be it a brief moment (for example, running into someone at a coffee shop), or larger time span (being at the same point and place in your career or personal life at the same time). This piece resulted from the latter. As I began composing this work for the Smoke and Mirrors Ensemble, I thought about our good fortune—specifically, that the four of us ended up in the same institution during the same period of our lives and, because of this, how privileged I was to be inspired every day by these three great musicians and friends: Joseph Beribak, Edward Hong, and Katalin La Favre.
Happenstance can be heard on the Smoke and Mirrors Ensemble’s debut album on Yarlung Records. It has also been performed at Zeltsman Marimba Festival, the San Francisco Conservatory (directed by Jack van Geem) and the University of North Texas (directed by Paul Rennick).
-The xylophone ragtime music of George Hamilton Green made a resurgence in the 1970’s thanks to the percussion group, NEXUS. sophomore David Knight’s rendition of Jovial Jasper is as lighthearted as it is virtuosic.
-Art Professor Leslie Macklin and I discussed collaborating for a work between our students and tonight we bring you a live percussion soundtrack with six film shorts created by members of her Foundations in Art and Design class.
-This semester, Persian music specialist Nariman Assadi presented workshops and performances at Adams State University and worked extensively with students and faculty. Sama is a work he taught us inspired by music of Kurdistan and Iran.
-Sophomore Alex Youngbird arranged Steve Wonder’s hit song, Isn’t She Lovely for the ASU Marimba Band and is an example of the popular music the service ensemble can perform for the community.
-The SLV Community Steel Band is comprised of individuals from throughout the SLV region and rehearse one hour a week on Tuesday evenings. Anyone is welcome to join this ensemble, regardless of musical experience.
-The Music of the Americas Project will perform two works for steel band and a samba batucada in preparation for a performance at CMEA is 2020. This ensemble, the newest in the Department of Music, performs the music of Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, the American South, and Brazil.