Arts & Culture

UK Percussion Ensemble Downsizes for Unique Show

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 8, 2010) −  The University of Kentucky Percussion Ensemble will downsize for a unique concert experience and perform as UKPG, the UK Percussion Group. This concert, which is free and open to the public, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11, at the Singletary Center For the Arts Recital Hall.

UKPG, a smaller chamber group, performs cutting edge percussion literature written for smaller forces.

"The music UKPG plays demands unflinching intensity of concentration, vigorous athleticism and, at times, the quiet slow balance of martial arts," says James Campbell, director of UK Percussion Studies.

Although a UKPG concert is visually and sonically dramatic, it is not so much theater as it is ritual -- performers in search of a shared experience.

"Chamber percussion performance is a specialized field, and requires a number of skills not normally required for the performance of symphonic or solo music," notes Campbell. "These percussionists develop a close intimacy of shared musical experience, they move into a zone that is not often experienced when a conductor is leading them. They make on the spot musical decisions and perform spontaneous gestures, which turns the music into a conversation between the performers."

The members of UKPG are drawn from the UK Percussion Ensemble, nationally recognized for its excellence and innovative programming.

Although the upcoming UKPG concert will feature just four works, each will place extraordinary demands on the performers -- both musically and physically. The program begins with John Luther Adams' "dust into dust," written for a quartet of snare drums. Also included on the program are "Dark Full Ride" by Julia Wolfe, "Unknown Kind" by David Skidmore, and John Cage’s seminal work written in 1941, "Third Construction."

For more information on the UK Percussion Group concert, contact James Campbell director of Percussion Studies at UK School of Music, at (859) 257-8187.