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Percussion Ensemble to Explore 'Fascinatin' Rhythm' in Thursday Concert

Percussion Ensemble to Explore 'Fascinatin' Rhythm' in Thursday Concert

October 27, 2009

Percussion Ensemble Fall 2009-1.jpgOctober 27, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — Who does rhythm better than percussionists? "Fascinatin' Rhythm" is the theme of the DePauw Percussion Ensemble's concert this semester, which will be presented this Thursday evening, October 29, at 7:30 pm in Kresge Auditorium of the Green Center for the Performing Arts.

The program consists of works that explore the rhythmic element in percussion music. Two works are of historical importance in the development of the percussion ensemble as a major genre in the twentieth century. The Rítmicas by Amadeo Roldán were composed in 1930 and are the first composed works for percussion ensemble. Roldán, a Cuban composer, integrated traditional Afro-Cuban percussion instruments with more classical elements. Pulse, composed in 1939 by Henry Cowell, reflects this important experimental composer's exploration ofDePauw Percussion Ensemble Fall2009-2.jpg rhythm and unusual sound sources -- automobile brake drums, metal pipes, rice bowls, and Asian instruments such as temple gongs.

Also on the program will be a more contemporary work by Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, Am Anfang was der Rhythmus ("In the Beginning There Was Rhythm"), composed in 1984. Gubaidulina is one of the world's major composers, and is known for the mystical and dramatic qualities of her music, along with her use of improvisation and unusual instrumental sounds.

Two junior percussion majors will be featured as soloists. Bridget Parker will invoke the gods of rhythm in a djembe piece by Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic, and Rebekah Woolverton will be the timpani soloist in the Gubaidulina piece.

The performance will also include an unusual arrangement of the Gershwin favorite Fascinatin' Rhythm, and a newly-composed bucket-drumming Amy Lynn Barber 2.jpgpiece by first-year percussion major Patrick Speranza.

Amy Lynn Barber, professor of music and director of the Percussion Ensemble director, points to the diversity of Thursday's concert. "Our percussion ensemble concerts reflect the range of musical styles that our percussion students need to learn to play, ranging from world music traditions, to jazz, to classical pieces, to improvisation," she notes.

The performance is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the DePauw University School of Music online.