Percussion in the Musical Theater

One of my favorite gigs has always been playing musicals. I’ll never forget my first musical at Solano Community College when I was a junior in high school. I played a musical called Shenandoah and since then, I have been fortunate to play a good number of musicals. The level of complexity has sure increased over the years and the above video is a perfect example of what is expected of the percussionist in a musical.

As I was researching this post, I found numerous videos on YouTube featuring percussionists playing and talking about their set-ups. Dave Roth also has a great website where he features photos of his set-ups and lists of the instruments used. Here’s his set-up for Neverland. Thanks to Troy Wollwage for sending the link to Dave’s website.

California PAS Solo & Ensemble Festival Results

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The California Percussive Arts Chapter hosted the 4th annual Percussive Arts Society Competitive Festival on Friday, April 29th, 2016. The Competition was held at the Fresno State Music Building and percussionists competed in the following categories: solo marimba, solo timpani, solo concert snare, and chamber percussion ensemble.

Congratulations to everyone who participated. The complete list of winners will be listed on the California PAS website. I was fortunate to serve as a judge for the ensemble competition. The winning ensembles were:

High School Percussion Ensemble
1st Place: Central High School
2nd Place: Clovis North High School “A”
3rd Place: Clovis High School “A”

College Percussion Ensemble
1st Place: California State University Long Beach
2nd Place: California State University Fresno

Suite for Marimba by Mark Alan Taggart

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It is hard to believe that 20 years ago, Mark Ford, Director of Percussion at University of North Texas, released his CD Polaris. I remember listening to Polaris and Suite for Marimba as a student and unfortunately, the music for Suite was not available. Earlier this year, Mark Alan Taggart made the piece available as a free download on Mark Ford’s website. Check it out and add it to your next recital. As always, if you play the piece, be sure to send a program to Mark Alan Taggart. It is a great piece and more people need to hear it. Be the first one to put a recording on YouTube!

Coming Home by Steve Gisby

Coming Home (2010) by Steve Gisby

Performed by the CSULB Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Dave Gerhart. Fourth International Conference on Minimalist Music, California State University at Long Beach – October, 2013. Performers: Kevin Brown, Tyler Hunt, Michael King, Kevin Sakamoto, Dave Gerhart

You can download the score on SteveGisby.com.

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