UK Happenings

Concert Celebrates UK Percussion Ensemble's Global Winning Tradition


Professor James Campbell talks about the work of the UK Percussion Ensemble. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Professor James Campbell, will present world premieres of music by celebrated UK alumnus Glenn Kotche and Swedish composer Anders Åstrand at a free public concert beginning 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, in the Recital Hall at the Singletary Center for the Arts. The concert is a prelude to the group’s Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) Showcase Concert in Indianapolis later in the month. The concert marks a record fifth invitation to perform at PASIC unmatched by any other collegiate program. 

The concert features two world premiere compositions, “Transferencia” by Kotche, composer and drummer for the Grammy-winning band Wilco, and “Bell Power” by Swedish composer and long-time collaborator Åstrand.

“Transferencia” was inspired by some Brazilian drumming and written on drumkit first. Kotche then transferred the material over to mallet keyboard sextet, keeping the idea of using a drumkit, but now deconstructing it to share among the players.

The concert also features UK School of Music faculty member and guitarist Dieter Hennings in a 2014 composition by Baljinder Singh Sekhon for guitar and percussion ensemble. Scored for classical guitar and seven pitched percussion instruments, “Musica Casera” explores the timbral boundaries between guitar and keyboard percussion. Through the use of harmonics, bowed percussion, pitch bending, natural resonance, percussive striking and fast strumming passages, this work highlights the similarities between these instruments.

The program also includes the daunting work “Tocsin” by Lewis Nielson. The composer’s inspiration derives from a particular historical timeline as he states, "Ringing the 'Tocsin' has a long history, especially in France, dating from the French Revolution and transferring from there to other European and European-influenced countries. It is a call to assembly, to arms, to decide; a call of warning, invitation, action."

The UK Percussion Ensemble has won the prestigious Percussive Arts Society International Collegiate Percussion Ensemble Contest five times, a record unmatched by any other institution. As part of winning this year’s global competition, the ensemble will present a Showcase Concert in Indianapolis on Nov. 22 during PASIC, the world’s largest percussion event, which usually draws more than 7,000 international attendees.

Members of the ensemble are:

·       doctoral candidate Brandon Arvay, from Columbia, South Carolina;

·       Nathan Bailey, from Orland Park, Illinois;

·       Katie Beckmann, from Genoa, Illinois;

·       Jonathon Berry, from Bowling Green, Kentucky;

·       Nick Bolchoz, from North Charleston, South Carolina;

·       Taylor Chapman, from Lexington;

·       Brad Davis, from Henderson, Kentucky;

·       Darci Davis, from Greenville, Kentucky;

·       Logan Delaney, from Lexington;

·       Emily Durocher, from Magnolia, Texas;

·       Derek Erwin, from Frankfort, Kentucky;

·       doctoral candidate Matthew Geiger, from Indianapolis;

·       Nathan Hewitt, from Fishers, Indiana;

·       Joshua Hoewisch, from Lexington;

·       Eliot Johnson, from Frisco, Texas;

·       Aaron Marsala, from Naperville, Illionois;

·       Charlie McManus, from Fairfax, Virginia;

·       Hayden McNeal, from Nicholasville, Kentucky;

·       Michael McSweeney, from Fishers;

·       graduate student Francisco Perez, from Pflugerville, Texas;

·       Jordan Rouse, from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky;

·       Connor Shafran, from Lexington;

·       Adam Schwartz, from Louisville, Kentucky;

·       Alex Smith, from The Woodlands, Texas; and

·       John Thompson, from Fishers.

UK Percussion Ensemble is housed at the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

To see a UK Percussion Ensemble performance of "On Reflection" by Gentle Giant, arranged by Kyle Forsthoff, click play below. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716;