Arts & Culture

Musical Zoo Highlights UK Percussion Concert


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2010) − What do cricket callers, a lion’s roar, a donkey jawbone, and a conch shell have in common? They are all featured instruments in this year's spring concert by the University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble (UKPE), under the direction of James Campbell. This award-winning ensemble will present a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 11, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall on the UK campus.

The upcoming UKPE concert will feature composer John Cage’s seminal work from 1941, "Third Construction," which utilizes a veritable zoo of eclectic percussion sounds including crickets and lions among common junk instruments such as tin cans and wooden boxes.

The concert program will begin with Ben Wahlund's "Forward, Together, Forward," a fanfare written in response to a tragic school shooting on the Northern Illinois University campus in the spring of 2008. The concert also includes "Vertigo" by Andy Harnsberger, featuring the composer as marimba soloist. Harnsberger has appeared on the UK campus as an artist-in-residence throughout the semester and has been teaching and coaching members of the percussion studio.

Jennifer Higdon's "Splendid Wood" is a celebration of the sound of wood, one of nature’s most basic materials. Higdon was a 2010 Grammy recipient for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for her "Percussion Concerto." Rounding out the program is music from celebrated composer Elliott Carter. Though he is 101 years old, his first work for percussion ensemble "Tintinnabulation" wasn’t written until 2008.

The UK Percussion Ensemble concert is free and open to the public. For further information, contact the UK Percussion Studio at (859) 257-8187.