Ouachita Baptist University will host the OBU Percussion Ensemble in concert with guest artist Dr. Julie Hill on Tuesday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.
“This spring’s concert is a diverse program of percussion pieces with something for everyone,” said Dr. Ryan Lewis, assistant professor of music and director of the percussion ensemble. “The concert will begin with Susan Powell’s ‘The Gilded Cage,’ a quartet in which each player performs on tom-toms, cymbals, drum set, bass drum and brake drums from a car.”
The concert will continue with “Powder Puff” by Harry Breuer, a “toe-tapping delight from the 1930s,” said Lewis; “Head Talk” by Mark Ford, “a unique quintet piece … written entirely for drum heads;” and free improvisation in which students will compose and perform in the moment. The final selection before intermission will be “Ritual Music” by David Skidmore, “a rousing, boisterous piece that sounds exactly as the title implies,” Lewis noted.
After a short intermission, the second half of the concert will consist of two pieces by and with Hill, associate professor of percussion at the University of Tennessee-Martin (UTM). According to Lewis, Hill’s pieces are “modern compositions inspired by her experiences studying the samba reggae music traditions on the northern coast of Brazil.
“‘Sonhando em Salvador’ (Dreaming of Salvador) is a drum-only piece made up of rhythms she experienced while researching in the city of Salvador, while ‘Rudi’s Batuque’ features keyboard percussion, drum set and electric bass in addition to the drums of the prior selection,” Lewis added.
Lewis said he is excited to “provide the unique opportunity for our students to perform music of another culture on traditional instruments from Brazil with a talented and knowledgeable guest artist. The two pieces are full of teachable musical moments and are enjoyable for the audience, who should be warned that audience participation is expected!”
In addition to teaching at UTM, Hill is often a guest performer and lecturer on the topic of Brazilian percussion at colleges and universities across the U.S. and has presented at the Percussive Arts Society’s Day of Percussion. She is a member of the celebrated Caixa Percussion Trio and has performed in Brazil, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South Korea.
Hill was presented with the 2012 Outstanding Teacher/Scholar Award from UTM and is a recipient of the Hardy Graham Distinguished Professorship Award. She holds a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Kentucky, a master of music in percussion performance and a bachelor of music education from the University of Tennessee-Martin.
For more information on Hill, visit www.utm.edu/jhill. For more information on the percussion ensemble, visit www.obu.edu/percussion or contact Dr. Ryan Lewis at email@example.com or (870) 245-5421.