UK Percussion Ensemble to world premiere “Blue Ranger”


UK Percussion Ensemble flyer provided by the College of Fine Arts.

Courtney Suber, Reporter

The UK Percussion Ensemble and Steel Drum Band will premiere “Blue Ranger” by Andrea Venetat the Singletary Center for the Arts on April 16.

The percussion ensemble concert is held every semester. 

The UK Percussion Ensemble is a performing group for students that are percussion majors and minors, and our culminating event for each semester is a full concert for the public,” Joshua Smith, a visiting lecturer and supporting member of the concert, said.

The concert is supported by faculty and teaching assistant conductors as well as small ensembles. 

“Blue Ranger” will feature a performance by Emily Durocher, a past TA and student at the University of Texas and current UK student. 

The piece will feature the use of a vibraphone accompanied by a percussion quartet. Durocher said she will perform the vibraphone solo because she is the lead for this commision.

Percussionists have been practicing for the premiere of this piece since the beginning of the spring semester.

It always starts with selecting the pieces that we want performed. That can vary with themes, or spotlights that we want to showcase through either the forms of the pieces or composers we are selecting for a given event,” Durocher said.

From here, individual ensembles must be created, interest in the concert must be generated, logistical issues must be considered and a crowd must be drawn.

“Blue Ranger” is a piece which was commissioned specifically for the university and is the marketing point of the upcoming concert.

“The composer lives and teaches in Florida, and she has written several other pieces based around the musical elements from (“The Power Rangers”) TV show. This Sunday, audiences will hear “Blue Ranger” for the first time in public,” Smith said.

The pieces separate from “Blue Ranger” are practiced multiple times a week in the percussion ensemble class held at UK.

“We have rehearsals five days a week as a group, and the students work on their individual parts throughout the week on their own time outside of class,” Smith said.