Percussion Spectacular Started With a Bang and Ended With Bob Marley

Samantha Saville
The Paw Print

Dr. Doyle along with the students of Adams State College, the Rocky Mountain Pan Handlers, and a special performance by the San Luis Valley Community Steel Drum Band put on a truly spectacular performance in Richardson Hall on December 2.
The night started with the ASC Percussion Ensemble performing “Bonham” by Christopher Rouse. This piece was a fun way to start the night with its drastic dynamics and intense movement. There were several fun instruments played in this piece, like a gong and baseball bat on a block of wood. This brought the audience’s full attention to the stage.
The second piece was introduced by Dr. James Doyle because of its interesting nature. This piece was completely notated by John Cage and was titled “Living Room Music.” This piece was interesting because the stage was set up to resemble a living room. The students on stage were playing cereal boxes, bowls, spoons, paper, remotes, and furniture. In the second movement, David Gittings and Paul Kobe walked onto stage spouting words that seemed to be nonsense. The whole piece seemed to be complete chaos, but did have a rhythm to it that was detectable at times.
The Adams State Grizzlies Drum Line performed next in a blowout performance led by David Gittings. The drum line seemed to be dancing with their drums to their upbeat football pump-up music. They seemed to have perfect technique, but that is coming from someone who knows nothing about drumming. They did several different tricks with the drumming sticks that wowed the audience. The drum line switched positions on the stage several times. Considering how much space was between the curtain and the edge of the stage, this did not seem possible but they executed it flawlessly.
The performance of “Four Stories” by Louis Bellson had a very fun set up. Four drum sets were placed facing each other and the four drummers seemed to battle on stage. To the audience it seemed that most parts were played by two drummers simultaneously. Each drummer played a solo that rocked. It seemed that the audience was watching a private drum rehearsal of the four students David Noller, Josh Wohlrabe, Ben Paden, and Nic Owen. Each student seemed to have loads of fun playing their solo, standing up and laughing with each other during and after. The piece made the whole room feel lighter.
The next piece consisted of thirteen people performing the STOMP piece “Stick Schtick” by Chris Brooks. They did an exceptional job on a very well-known piece.
The piece named “Wha…?? (in three movements)” named by Dr. Doyle was a collection of several pieces not specified in the program. The first piece played was a fun upbeat salsa piece. This flowed right into an urban piece with a jazz feel and several trumpets. This part of the piece also displayed the talented David Gittings’s rapping. The most heartbreaking part of the whole performance was the lack of sound equipment. It was very hard to hear David past the first few rows of the audience.  The next movement of the eclectic piece was a mix of music from Japan, Australia, and West Africa featuring the didgeridoo played by Eric Lutringer. This part of the piece was upbeat with changes in the beat, increasing tempo, and dramatic pauses. This was a fun way to end the first half.
After intermission the tribute to Bob Marley began by the SLV Community Steel Drum Band performing “Three Little Birds.” This was many of the performers first time improvising but the audience would have never known. All of the Bob Marley songs sounded excellent, in tune and on pitch. This was a wonderful way to end an amazing concert.

One response to “Percussion Spectacular Started With a Bang and Ended With Bob Marley”

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