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Thursday, May 23rd, 2012 Colleen Graves
The SOU Percussion Ensembles, directed by Dr. Terry Longshore
featuring percussion trio Compás and cello soloist Chas Barnard
(Ashland, Ore.) – The widely acclaimed Southern Oregon University (SOU) Percussion Ensembles present “Sonic Portraits”, a concert of works featuring music that is influenced and inspired by a wide gamut of the world’s music - classical, jazz, rock and the music of Africa, India, and Latin America. The performance will take place in the SOU Music Recital Hall, 450 Mountain Ave., in Ashland on Tuesday, June 5 at 7:30 PM.
The concert will open with “Amoxoxo/Rainforest”, a pair of Zimbabwe-style marimba compositions by Alport Mhlanga and Michael Breez performed by 8 players on 4 marimbas and accompanied by the traditional shakers of Zimbabwe called hosho. These exciting and joyful pieces with their beautiful, interlocking melodies will be led by SOU Percussion Ensemble alumnus Lindsay Campbell, who taught the pieces to the ensemble.
Cello soloist Chas Barnard will be featured on Erik Griswold’s “a leaf falls” for percussion quartet and cello. The title “a leaf falls” is taken from the e.e. cummings poem with the first line “I(a”:
If one reads everything between the parentheses, one reads "a leaf falls." The rest spells "oneliness." Adding the beginning "l" to the "oneliness” (excluding the material in parentheses) produces "loneliness." Griswold writes about his composition, “Though I’ve never really lived in a place with an autumn, I nevertheless feel a sense of nostalgia for the coming of autumn, the leaves turning bright oranges and reds, and is it a sense of emptiness when the leaves fall? I enjoy raking the leaves in my backyard; it’s a kind of meditation. And who doesn’t love jumping into a pile of leaves?” This five-movement work evokes the sounds of rain, wind, leaves rustling, and swirling textures indicative of the season implied by the title.
SOU cellist Chas Barnard has joined the musical ranks as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. At seventeen years of age, he made both his professional orchestral solo debut with Martin Majkut and the Rogue Valley Symphony and his solo debut at Carnegie Hall in a Winner’s Recital as a first-place winner in the American Protégé International Concerto Competition. Chas is also the winner of the 2011 Marrowstone Music Festival Concerto Competition, the 2010 American String Teachers Oregon Solo Music Competition, and the 2010 OSAA Solo Music Competition. A member of the Rogue Valley Symphony since age fourteen, Chas has served as principal cellist at the Marrowstone Music Festival, the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific in British Columbia and the Oregon All-State Orchestra, as well as playing in the section of the All-Northwest Orchestra, and the World Youth Symphony Orchestra of Interlochen.
An avid chamber musician, Chas, as a member of the Schoenard Trio, was named Artists-in-Residence in 2011 for the Britt Festival. In addition to numerous performances throughout Oregon, the Schoenard Trio placed as semi-finalists in the junior division of the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2011. Chas studies cello with Ashland resident Thomas Stauffer, Professor Emeritus of San Diego State University.
Other works featured on the concert:
Nagoya Marimbas by Steve Reich for marimba duo
3 and 4 performed by the Reso-Nation Percussion Quartet and composed by quartet member Daniel Freiberg
More Like Chutney by Randy Gloss, performed by the Reso-Nation Percussion Quartet - a melody performed on jala tarang (rice bowls tuned with water) accompanied by hand drums
Conga Tarang by J.B. Smith, performed by percussion trio Compás, featuring Terry Longshore, Bryan Jeffs, and Jacob Phelps-Ransom. 6 conga drums are arranged in a triangle, each performer playing three drums - one that only he plays and the other two shared with the other players. Each player also has a foot-operated cowbell, wood block, or bass drum. Complex, interlocking rhythms and melodies create an intricately exciting texture evocative of the music of Latin America.
The concert will close with “Like Be-Bop” by John Bergamo, a favorite composer of the ensemble and audiences, and is sure to leave the audience smiling. Performed by 11 players using xylophone, vibraphones, marimbas, bass marimba, 2 drum sets, junk percussion, and electric bass, “Like Be-Bop” is written in a Zappa-esque style that pits the two drum set players against each other, one playing in a straight eighth-note rock style, while the other plays in a swing, jazz feel. The ensemble goes and back and forth between these two feels, and gets pulled in either direction throughout the piece.
Tickets for this concert are $5 general admission and free for students. Tickets and season passes may be purchased or reserved by calling 541-552-6101, in person in the Music Office Monday through Friday, or at the Music Box Office one hour prior to the performance. For more information, please visit Southern Oregon University’s Department website at www.sou.edu/music.