After a semester of hard work, the UWS Percussion and Steel Drum Ensembles played a number of exciting pieces on November 27th in Thorpe Langley Auditorium.
The first half of the concert used many different types of percussion instruments from all around the world. They opened the concert with Bucaramanga by Frederic Macarez. This piece had the most diverse variety of instruments from the Quiro to the Concert Bass Drum. Next they had a duet called Diamond Hill by Michael Colgrass between Chelsey Moss and Olivia Krause on the Marimba with Mike Lueck playing a traditional Irish Drum as their accompaniment. The teamwork between the three players was fantastic. Inventions on a Motive was next on the program and was very different than the first two pieces because it had a much smaller variety of instruments and it sounded more militaristic. Cory Coffman, Chelsey Moss, Mike Lueck, and Olivia Krause played the second movement of Marimba Quartet by Daniel Levitan. The quartet was especially difficult because of the unusual articulations. Director, Dr. Brett Jones, stated that they had to play some of their parts staccato by muting the notes instead of letting them ring like they usually do. Coffman and Lueck then performed a Conga Drum duet called You’re Makin’ Me Dizzy by Rich Holly. It was no surprise to hear that the piece was inspired by Dizzy Gillespie, because it was very fast paced and seemed technically challenging with lots of passing of rhythms between the two players. They ended the first half of the concert with a traditional Nigerian welcome song called Eh Wa Ba Wa Jo. The ensemble got a chance to show of their singing skills while clapping and playing a many different instruments once again.
The Steel Drum Ensemble or “Cold Steel” performed four pieces in the second half of the concert. All four of the pieces were very different from the others. First was a nice arrangement of Both of Them originally made famous by the Mighty Sparrow which was followed by Louiguy’s Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White. They then played Spain by Chick Corea and finally Soca Tatie by Byron Lee. The ensemble seems to get better and better every year.
Dr. Jones and the rest of the Percussion and Steel Drum Ensembles did a great job once again and should be very proud of their performance.