Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Percussion ensemble to offer ‘different’ sounds


Crashes, booms and thuds will be heard coming from the Light Recital Hall tomorrow night.

The UW-Whitewater percussion ensemble will perform a small concert at 7:30 p.m.

The 17-student ensemble will play four pieces, including “Double Music” by the late John Cage and Lou Harrison in celebration of Cage’s 100th birthday.

The group will play a wide range of instruments for this performance including drums, mallet keyboards and more unusual instruments like thunder sheets and gongs.


“There will be lots of different, unique sounds,” director Tobie Wilkinson said. “We’ll have brake drums and metal sounds, and things you find in junkyards.”

In addition to “Double Music,” the percussionists will perform “Room #39” by Justin B. Rito, a piece written as a musical depiction of the composer’s dream in which he found heaven on the other side of a door marked with the number 39.

Another song to be performed, “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5” by Heitor Villa-Lobos, was originally written for eight cellos and voice. Senior Jennalee Brummel will join the ensemble and add vocals for this song. The sound of cellos is recreated by utilizing marimbas, a xylophone-like instruments made of wood.

Senior Andrew Stone, playing for his ninth time in this ensemble, said his favorite piece in this concert is “Stained Glass” by David R. Gillingham. The three movements of the piece are named for different kinds of stained glass and are meant to reflect the beauty of each.

“I really like the different feelings that each section creates,” Stone said. “A number of different percussion instruments will be used, which can be neat to see.”

Each piece offers a distinct tone and feeling that differs from the others.

“I think the variety is one of the things people like best about [percussion],” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said he believes percussion offers stimulation to a sense not often associated with music, which draws audiences in during performances.

“Percussion is such a visual instrument, because you can actually see everything that [the performers] are playing, so it’s visually stimulating for a lot of people,” Wilkinson said.

The percussion ensemble performs for free once a semester. The group accepts anyone who knows how to read sheet music and can play a percussion instrument.

“Students who come see the concert will get to see some great pieces performed,” Stone said.  “It’ll be strictly percussion, and they’ll get to see us do more than the usual few things seen in orchestra or band.”

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Founded 1901
Percussion ensemble to offer ‘different’ sounds