University Percussion Group wins Competition

University Percussion Group wins Competition...

On May 2, 2014 the BCCM/CSULB University Percussion Group won the 2014 California Percussive Arts Society College Percussion Ensemble Competition. This is the second year in a row that they have won the competition. The ensemble performed Sun by Baljinder Sekhon and Quad Helix by Clay Condon (PAS California Ensemble Program) and was awarded a new Yamaha Grand Symphonic Series Maple Snare Drum for placing first. Thank you Yamaha Percussion! The group competed against 4 other colleges, including Chapman University, San Jose State, Fresno State and San Joaquin College. Jazper Saldana (junior) also placed 3rd in the college marimba competition. It was the most competitive solo category. I was extremely proud and grateful to all of the students who performed and competed in the competition. Their hard work paid off. Congrats Jazper Saldana, Jeff Ramos, Kan Adachi, Brianne Kikuchi, Lucas Zumbado and Julio de Leon....
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...
New CSULB Percussion Program Website

New CSULB Percussion Program Website

At the beginning of the month, I created a new website for the CSULB Percussion Program. I wanted a place where I could post photos, videos and stories about the percussion program. I also wanted a place to reach out to our community and let people know about all of the great concerts and events that are going on in the percussion program. It has been a great semester! We wrapped up the year with our annual Caribbean Holiday Celebration concert with guest artist Liam Teague. I will post a recap to the entire semester in the coming weeks. Until then, please check out the new site and thanks for your continued support of the CSULB Percussion...