Ji Hye Jung Performs John Serry’s “Groundlines” (2010)

John Serry’s Night Rhapsody for solo marimba is one of the great early pieces in the contemporary marimba repertoire. While still clearly “Serry-esque”, his new work Groundlines deviates significantly from his masterwork of over 30 years ago. Featuring Dies Irae quotes and Sonata Form,Night Rhapsody features a clear connection to the Romantic Era of wester classical music. That connection seems to be missing entirely from Groundlines leaving us with pure compositional mechanics. Check out the video to formulate some reactions to this new work expertly performed by Ji Hye Jung.

What are your thoughts on Serry’s compositional shift with Groundlines? What are your impressions of the work as a whole?

Thom Hasenpflug’s “Smoke and Mirrors”

I still remember the first time I performed Bicksa during my undergrad. At that point in my career, it was largest piece I had ever set up and at first, I hated it. But, after many rehearsals and late nights, I realized what a great piece it was! Bicksa was written by Thom Hasenpflug. I have been fortunate to get to know Thom and his music over the years and I happy to finally spread the news about his new piece, Smoke and Mirrors. The piece was premiered on last week by the Ensemble Schlagwerk Wien, directed by Nebojsa J Zivkovic. This post features the video of the dress rehearsal. If you don’t know Thom’s music, please go to his website and check out his pieces.

Originally posted on DrumChattr on May 13, 2014 by Dave Gerhart.

So You’re Going to be a Percussion Major…

By Adam Groh

It’s August, and that means we’re on the threshold of a brand new school year.  For the first time in 22 years, I am going to be walking onto campus as a full-time teacher, rather than a student.  Perhaps it was a bit of nostalgia that inspired this post, but I wanted to make a list of fifteen things I’d want a brand new freshmen percussion major to know and hear as they prepare to start school.  Some of these are things that I did, and I am thankful for, and others are things that I never thought of, and I’m hoping that you can learn from my mistakes.  Even if you’re not a freshmen, hopefully this list can offer some good suggestions of how to make the most of your academic experience! (more…)

Value

“People aren’t owed jobs because of (possibly bogus) qualifications or credentials; they get jobs because they can do something valuable for someone else.”

This mindset is sometimes lost in the percussion community. Degrees (especially performance ones) won’t actually get you anything in the real world. The skills and assets that you acquire while obtaining your degree can be of great value to you if applied in the right way. But, the piece of paper itself, not so much.

This article sums up these ideas rather nicely. As everybody heads back to school, make sure to ask yourself “What skills am I picking up here?” and “How will I apply these skills in the real world?” and “Are these skills going to be able to make me a living?”

Enjoy!

Originally posted on DrumChattr on August 17, 2013.

Educating

It’s almost back to school time, so I’ll share something on education today. I don’t know any truly professional percussionist who isn’t in the world of education in some form. It doesn’t matter if you are a full time teacher, independent contractor, freelancer, blogger or whatever. The vast majority of percussionists teach somewhere in the professional lives. Even people who strictly perform/play for a living most likely have somebody studying a Youtube video of them somewhere. So, they’re teachers. (more…)

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