“Originally composed in 2012, I made significant revisions to the piece in 2015, with the inclusion of an entirely new section. The piece combines two of my favorite instruments to perform on: marimba and drum set. The outer portions feature the marimba, with contrasting sections that use a variety of time signatures and harmonic ideas. By design, some phrases place the marimba in the role as accompanist, while most phrases see it scored as the solo voice. The middle section is meant to be a fun jam section based on the groove the underlies the piece from the very beginning. While portions of the middle section are open for improvisation, certain sections are written out to aid with transitions.” (From YouTube Description).
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.
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
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!
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