Long Beach Symphony Set-Up

Long Beach Symphony Set-Up

From the Ground Up: Building a Long Beach Symphony POPS! Concert. Long Beach Symphony POPS! concerts are fantastic orchestra dinner picnics featuring 300 dinner tables of 10. Groups are encouraged to bring picnics and favorite libations or to arrange for catering at their tables before and during the performance. This is unlike any other concert that I play and I make a cameo in this video 2:34....
Percussion Paints Pictures

Percussion Paints Pictures

Over the past 17 years, I have been a member of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra Percussion Ensemble. During this time, we have performed over 400 shows for the 2nd and 3rd graders in the Long Beach Unified School District. The LBSO commissioned Lynda Sue Marks  to write the show entitled Percussion Paints Pictures. The current ensemble is Lynda Sue Marks and Gary Long (percussion) with Jamieson Price. This show is one of the highlights of my year. Watching the 2nd and 3rd grade kids reaction to the music is priceless and I can’t wait for my kids to see the show...
Long Beach Symphony Kids Concerts

Long Beach Symphony Kids Concerts

On January 22 and 23, 2014, I was fortunate to perform the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Concerts for Young People at the Terrace Theater. The program, entitled “An English Exhibition,” included: Star Spangled Banner, Trumpet Voluntary, Pomp and Circumstance No. 1, Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Mars (from “The Planets.”). I am always grateful to play with the LBSO and I especially enjoy playing for all of the 5th Graders from the Long Beach Unified School District. Thanks Lynda Sue Marks and the staff of the LBSO for everything you...
Concert Programming

Concert Programming

I am always looking for ways to improve the concert-going experience. As artists, I think we need to find a better way to attract and retain an audience. We need to think about concert programming and how to put pieces together that will be interesting to the audience and help our students learn about musicality and programming. I have always disliked going to percussion concerts and/or recitals and watching percussionists move equipment in between pieces. For this reason, I generally choose to have three parts on my percussion ensemble programs with minimal (or no) movements in between pieces. This takes some planning, but I think it is a more enjoyable show for the audience. For my past faculty recital (January 31, 2014), I decided to take this concept one step further and play the entire second half without pause. This is not a new concept by any means. Vocalists combine arias into larger sets. The first time I saw this during a percussion concert was in Spring 2003 at the USC Percussion Ensemble Concert directed by Erik Forrester. All of the students were on stage and they played each piece without a pause. Erik was able to control the pace of the program by selecting pieces that flowed together and worked as a larger set of pieces. (He had also done this at PASIC when his ensemble performed in 2002.) As an audience member for that concert, it made a big impression and I wanted to try and find an opportunity to try it out on one of my concerts. As I was programming my recital, I wanted to bring back some pieces I had done in the past and combine them with some new and recently composed pieces. The majority of these pieces were 4-6 minutes and I didn’t feel the need for the audience to applaud between every piece. Voila! I finally had the perfect situation to try out this concept. The program I played was: Red Arc/Blue Veil – John Luther Adams A Minute of News – Eugene Novotney Pitch Drop – Dave Gerhart Circles No. 1 – Martin Herman/Dave Gerhart Warm It Up -Tom Osborne When selecting music, I tried to put together pieces that would flow into each other. I also wanted the audience to have some time to process what they heard without having to applaud. Overall, I was happy with the outcome. I know it is different to watch this on YouTube verses being in the audience but I would appreciate any feedback on this topic. Do you think it worked? Would you have done something...
Kopetzki Marimba Concerto

Kopetzki Marimba Concerto

It has been a busy couple of weeks. I performed my Faculty Recital on Friday, January 31 and then I performed the Eckhard Kopetzki Marimba Concerto with the CSULB Symphony Orchestra on Friday, February 7. It was an honor to work with conductor Johannes Müller-Stosch and the students of the orchestra. Below are some photos from the concert. Thanks to Carolyn Bremer for the beautiful photos....
Faculty Artist Recital – Friday, January 31

Faculty Artist Recital – Friday, January 31...

My upcoming Faculty Artist Series at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music @ CSULB will be presented on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 8pm in the Gerald R. Daniel Recital Hall. I have decided to perform the first half of the concert without a break. (More about that in a separate post on programming). The program will be: Red Arc/Blue Veil – John Luther Adams A Minute of News – Eugene Novotney A New Collaborative Piece with Martin Herman Pitch Drop – Dave Gerhart Warm It Up – Tom Osborne Kembang Suling – Gareth Farr Concerto for Marimba – Eckhard Kopetzki Assisted by: Martin Herman, Mark Uranker, & Darrin Thaves I have included a flyer below. Please feel free to share it with anyone you think would be interested in attending. Thanks for your support and I hope to see you...
PASIC 2013 – Thursday Recap

PASIC 2013 – Thursday Recap

My morning started off with a visit to the exhibits. I can’t imagine a PASIC without a trip to the exhibits and the Steve Weiss booth. After a quick visit to the booths, I went to see the Michigan State Percussion Ensemble. They preformed the entire program from memory including Rain Tree and Xenakis’ Peaux. (For a complete listing of all of the College Percussion Concerts, check out the post I wrote on DrumChattr.com). After this performance I attended a Brazilian clinic by Marcos Santos and Grooversity. He introduced Brazilian rhythms to the audience in a super high energy presentation. It was interesting to hear some of the early Candomblé rhythms and how they evolved into Samba. One of my student’s from CSULB got to perform on this clinic. (Photos below). For more information about Marcos’ clinic, check out his handout here. Most of the afternoon was spent in the exhibits. It was great to catch up with friends, meet new people, and visit my endorsers. One of the highlights was Remo’s new mesh drum head. It feels like a drum head but has little to no sound. It is similar to what is used on the Roland electronic drum kits. I am interested in seeing how they hold up in a university practice room setting. I will report back once I get a set. I had the opportunity to meet Remo Belli, founder of Remo Drum Heads, as well as check out some of the new drums. (I have posted some photos below). Brad Dutz, one of my colleagues at BCCM, was demonstrating the new HandSonic by Roland. These electronic hand percussion instruments have sure come a long way and the new unit is smaller and has an external USB port to bring in more sounds. Thursday has become New Music Day and there are numerous performances throughout the day. Dr. Eugene Novotney and the New Music Committee has done a great job curating the selections and I look forward to future focus days. I wasn’t able to attend many of the performances, but I heard a lot of great things about the Mark Applebaum concert. Unfortunately, it is impossible to attend everything at PASIC. I did sat in on the Percussion Ensemble Reading Session and got some great ideas for future programming. The list is included in the link above. For dinner, I had a chance to sit down with Tom Burritt and Thom Hasenpflug. It is always great to catch up with friends and I was especially interested I picking their brain about the job opening at CSULB. They gave me a lot of information to think about. The evening concert was Maraca2, a British percussion duo. They played a high energy program and one of my highlights was the new piece that was commissioned from Casey Cangolisi. After the concert was the first annual DrumChattr PASIC hang at Scotty’s. It was fun to meet new people and hang out with DrumChattr friends. Thanks to everyone who came out for the hang. See you next year. PASIC 2013 Thursday Marcus Santos 2 PASIC 2013 Thursday Marcus Santos 2 PASIC 2013 Thursday Marcus Santos 3 PASIC 2013 Thursday Percussive Manifestos PASIC 2013 Thursday Remo’s New Mesh Drumhead Silent Stroke PASIC 2013 Thursday Dave Gerhart and Remo Belli PASIC 2013 Thursday Fried Pickles at the DrumChattr Hangout PASIC 2013 Thursday Michigan State Percussion Ensemble PASIC 2013 Thursday Michigan State Percussion...
PASIC 2013 – Wednesday Recap

PASIC 2013 – Wednesday Recap

It is Wednesday night and PASIC is in full swing. Today was a travel day and I arrived in Indy around 6pm. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the Technology Focus Day hosted by Blair Helsing. The evening concert featured performances by “Emerging Artists.” Some of the highlights included: Stop Speaking by Andy Akiho Performed by Gordon Hicken fzzi by Dan van Hassel Performed by Joseph van Hassel Songs I-IX by Stuart Saunders Smith Performed by Gene Koshinski Rogosanti by James Wood Performed by Garrett Mendelow The weather is extremely cold (as you can see in the photo below) but I am looking forward to a great PASIC. I am going to blog daily about the events. PASIC 2013 Trip Cold Weather – Dave Gerhart PASIC 2013 Trip Downtown Indianapolis – Dave Gerhart PASIC 2013 Trip Downtown Indianapolis – Dave...
2013 Mira Costa HS Spring Percussion Festival

2013 Mira Costa HS Spring Percussion Festival...

I will be presenting a percussion masterclass on Saturday, May 17, 2013 at 4:30pm as part of the Mira Costa HS Spring Percussion Festival. The masterclass, titled “Counting, Listening, and Groove Building,” will teach the percussion students ensemble listening techniques. The masterclass is sponsored by Zildjian, Yamaha, Evans and Innovative Percussion. Check out the flyer below for more information:...
Mira Costa Percussion Festival Recap

Mira Costa Percussion Festival Recap

On May 18, I had the opportunity to work with the percussion students from Mira Costa High School and Palisades Charter High School. Aaron Smith and I worked with the four percussion groups on a wide variety of percussion ensemble pieces. The students were very receptive to our suggestions and it was an honor working with them. Congrats to Jeremy Miller, percussion director and Joel Carlson, director of bands at Mira Costa HS for their commitment to music education and shaping these students into fine musicians. After Aaron and I worked with the students, I presented a masterclass called “The 21st Century Percussionist: Today, Tomorrow and the Future.” During the masterclass, I presented tips and techniques on becoming a freelance percussionist and I also talked about Effective Metronome Use. The masterclass was sponsored by Zildjian, Yamaha, Evans and Innovative Percussion. After the masterclass, the students performed a concert for 275 parents and supporters. It was a great day of music education, camaraderie, and performances. Thanks to Joel and Jeremy for inviting me to be a part of the event! It was great to see so many students who are interested in percussion...