School of Performing Arts hosts percussion ensemble

February 25, 2010

by September Denton

The School of Performing Arts’ department of music hosted a percussion ensemble concert featuring an array of music and non-music majors performing in Howard Auditorium Center for the Performing Arts Feb. 20.

The ensemble played through a variety of works chosen by Gregory Lyons, director of percussion studies, such as “Fanfare for Tambourines,” “Vous avez du feu,” “Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks” and “Parts and Sums.”

Lyons, assistant director of bands, said the performance provided a critical performing opportunity, especially for the university’s percussion majors.

“As one of several instrumental groups in the department of music, the percussion ensemble exists to share literature written specifically for the genre with the campus and community.”

Lyons said the concert required the ensemble to meet for two hours twice a week for rehearsal.

“Some of the pieces were performed by memory, and all pieces were performed without a conductor adding an extra level of difficulty,” he said.

Lyons said the ensemble was comprised of a diverse group of students including freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.

“They represent a wide cross-section of the university’s major degree programs including sociology, speech communications, electrical engineering, computer science, music education and more,” he said.

Scott Thompson, a sophomore music education major, said he started playing percussion instruments when he was in junior high and loved it so much he knew he would end up perusing some sort of career involving percussion.

“Performing is my favorite part,” he said.
“I have a lot of fun times with the rest of the ensemble.”

John Morgan, a sophomore general studies major, said there were some timing issues involved with meeting the ensemble for practice, but despite it, he really loved performing.

“A lot of times we had trouble getting together, and when we could get together it was like eight in the morning,” he said.
“That’s a little early for me, but I had a lot of fun being up there and performing.”