Wichita State News

Percussion Ensemble to perform 'music in motion'

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Percussion will meet movement when the Wichita State University Percussion Ensemble performs the music of award-winning composer Mary Ellen Childs at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 26, in Wilner Auditorium.

Gerald Scholl
Gerald Scholl

Gerald Scholl, who directs the WSU percussion program, said Childs has been acclaimed for creating both rhythmic, exuberant instrumental works and bold, kinetic compositions that integrate music, dance and theater in fresh and unexpected ways. They are "visual percussion" pieces that embody the concept of music in motion.

One such composition on the WSU program is "Click," a fast-paced, game-like work for three stick-wielding performers that the Village Voice deemed "a newly born classic, like Steve Reich's 'Clapping Music,' only a thousand times more virtuosic."

Childs' percussion music has been performed throughout the world, almost entirely by her professional ensemble "CRASH."

"This is an incredible opportunity for both Wichita State University and the Wichita community because WSU's Percussion Ensemble is one of only two university groups given permission to perform these works," said Scholl.

This past January, Scholl said, students from the ensemble drove to Nashville to meet and work intensively with Mike Holland, an original member of Childs ensemble "CRASH." Since then, both Childs and Holland have taken time out of their busy schedules to coach the ensemble via Skype.

In addition to Child's music, the WSU Percussion Ensemble will perform works by Mahler and Grieg as well as music arranged for the ensemble by Scholl.

Childs and Holland will be on hand from Wednesday, April 21-Monday, April 26. Childs will be speaking with students and faculty from WSU's composition program and the School of Performing Arts. In addition, rehearsals will be open at Wilner Auditorium, with times to be determined.

"This will truly be an astounding visual and auditory performance not to be missed," Scholl said. "The open rehearsals will give you an opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process prior to this unusual performance."

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Created on Tuesday, April 20, 2010; Last modified on Tuesday, April 20, 2010