UK Percussion Studio Recital is a smash hit


UK students Matt Noll and Brian Keith playing “As One” during UK Percussion Studio Recital on March 8, 2018 in the Singletary Center for the Arts. 

Akhira Umar

The UK Percussion Studio Recital attracted over 50 people to the Singletary Center of the Arts Thursday evening. People young and old came to watch the percussionists play the night away in the recital hall.

The performance started promptly at 7:30 p.m. and, despite the formal attire of the performers, the event was relaxed. No formal introductions were made and there was no formal finale. Performers milled among the spectators after their performances. Audience members came in dressed in semi-formal wear and sweats. In fact, Cameron Cox, an arts administration freshman, said the atmosphere was his favorite part of the evening.

“I like how laid back it was. It wasn’t like a proper suit-and-tie concert. It was kind of just a fun little thing,” he said.

Nevertheless, the performances were not all that temperate. Between 13 songs, 15 performers and a slew of instruments, the mood was anything but stagnant. The ambience shifted from tranquil to upbeat and even humorous.

A favorite performance among multiple audience members was “Catching Shadows,” performed on marimbas by Nathan Bailey and Griffin Lober. This piece was one of the lengthier ones of the evening, and the time it took to complete was justified by the dynamic energy it portrayed within a smooth, melodic sound.

Another standout performance was “Baila,” played by Matthew Tremmel on the marimba. This song was unique in the night’s lineup because Tremmel sang along in Spanish to his own mallet strokes.

“The Big Audition” performed by Jamie Vilseck was a number that couldn’t help but catch the audience’s eyes– mostly because the hall’s lights were turned off so only he was illuminated. Vilseck used crash cymbals and a pre-recorded audio tape with screened subtitles to enrapture the audience with a parody. While many audience members were perplexed at the beginning of his performance, they were laughing along by the end of it.

Other performances included:

  • “Pezzo da concerto No. 1” by Jeffrey McCall
  • “Invention in F Major” by Maxwell Senger and Libby Walter
  • “Gallery” by Jacob Smith
  • “Kibo” by Emily Durocher, Darci Davis, McCall, Tremmel and Lober
  • “Impressions” by Senger
  • “As One” by Matt Noll and Brian Keith
  • “Leyenda” by Dee White
  • “Nagoya Marimabas” by Trey Clark and McCall
  • “Suomineito” by Blake Brooks
  • “Cross Corners” by Davis, Durocher, Lober, McCall and Tremmel

Durocher, a music performance senior with a focus in percussion, said her pieces can take from a few weeks to a year to master. Based on the evening’s performance, she liked performing the multi-percussion pieces because she can express herself the most. Similarly, she said that the vibraphone was her favorite instrument on the stage that night because she can get “a lot of different qualities out of it while it’s still a melodic instrument. You can create through different mediums by preparing it and using the instrument to its full capability.”

From their constant claps, occasional cheers and even well-timed laughter, it was easy to tell that the audience reciprocated the percussionists’ energy and passion that evening.