The Texas Tech University School of Music will host a concert featuring the Percussion Ensembles and Steel Drum Bands at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 14) in Hemmle Recital Hall. The student performers are all in the studios of percussion professors Lisa Rogers and Alan Shinn. Additional ensemble direction is from graduate students Josh Frans, Jeremy Isley and James Pendell.
The first half of the concert will feature Percussion Ensembles 1 and 2 alternating their performance selections. The passing of American composer David Maslanka in August prompted the performance of one of his lesser-known works for percussion ensemble, “Hurtling Through Space at Unimaginable Speed.” The work features a wind machine, which was hand-built by Bill Wilkinson, a percussion graduate student in the School of Music.
Percussion Ensemble 1 also will perform Blake Tyson’s “The Surface of the Sky.” The work commemorates the 60th anniversary of the integration of Little Rock Central High School and is dedicated to the nine students who courageously led the way.
The second half of the concert will feature the Steel Drum Bands, performing traditional and popular music on steelpans with rhythm section backup. Staple steel drum tunes by Irving Burgie, Harry Belafonte and Rafael de Leon will showcase the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Steel Drum Bands also will perform Clarence “Sonny” Henry’s “Evil Ways,” a song made famous by Santana, in addition to Van Morrison’s classic, “Brown Eyed Girl.”
In a nod to the popularity of steel bands in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Steel Drum Bands also will perform a setting of Irish songwriter Sean McCarthy’s “The Hills of Connemara,” about the illicit production of the unique style of Irish whiskey called “poitín.”
The concert is free and open to the public.