Poèmes pour mi by Olivier Messiaen

Last night, I was fortunate to be at the opening concert of the Zeltsman Marimba Festival at Rutgers University. The second half of the concert featured the reunion of Marimbolin, a marimba/violin duo featuring marimbist Nancy Zeltsman and violinist Sharan Leventhal. They played 4 pieces and the music they created was breathtaking and performed with a high level of musicality. I hope this was not the last time we hear from Marimbolin. (more…)

Percussion Education Weekly Reads 6/28/15

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June is almost over and the July 4th weekend is coming up. I always look forward this weekend because it is a time to spend time with my family and watch fireworks. This week, I had the opportunity to see a DCI show in a theater due to the rain and flash flood warnings. It was a first for many of us. Although it was fun to see, without the front ensemble, it was disappointing. Have a great week!

Thoughts on Free Ornamentation by Bill Sallak
This is the first of 4 posts about ornamentation. Great read! (more…)

Ojai Music Festival 2015

A couple of weeks ago, Steven Schick, music director of the 2015 Ojai Festival, presented a week of music in beautiful Ojai on June 10-14, 2015. All of the events, concerts and talks were recorded and live streamed.

Steven Schick’s programing was superb. He brought together some of the tops ensembles in the US, including ICE, red fish blue fish, CalArts ensemble, Calder Quartet, and numerous performers. Luckily for us, all of the events have been put together in a playlist on YouTube. I hope you take the opportunity to check out these amazing performance.

If you missed it, check out the Ojai Online University feature Steven Schick presenting “2015 OjaiU: The Beat of The World – The Art of Percussion.”

Thank you Steve for amazing programing and thank you Ojai festival for making these available to the public!

Zildjian Education – New World Symphony

Zildjian’s Keith Aleo visits New World Symphony​ percussionists Brad Loudis and Dan Morris at the New World Center in Miami Beach, FL. In this video, you will hear the cymbal excerpts from Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Finale from the Fourth Symphony.

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Percussion Education Weekly Reads 6/21/15

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Happy Father’s Day to everyone, even if you are not in the US. Make sure you pick up the phone and tell your Dad how much you appreciate everything he has done for you. There are only 193 days left in the year. How are you doing on your summer goals? I know I am behind my goals… Next week is a new week. Get started before it is too late. Here are some articles to check out. Enjoy!

The Father Of “Getting Things Done”: You’re Getting Me All Wrong by Ciara Byrne
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Benjamin Charles performs “Khan Variations”

This is by far one of my favorite marimba pieces. It is a beautiful composition and setting of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Allah Mohammad Char Yaar. This video features Benjamin Charles performing Alejandro Viñao’s Khan Variations. This was recorded at Smith Memorial Hall, University of Illinois. I like how Benjamin uses the tools on YouTube to mark the start of the variations and key points in the piece.

There are many recordings of this piece. Another favorite would be by Ian Rosenbaum.

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