LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - The Lock Haven University Spring Percussion concert on April 28 showcased the talents of students who performed on a wide variety of percussion instruments. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The concert took place at Price Performance Center. The performance resembled a dance: as they moved from one song to another, the students switched from playing the timpani to marimba to snare drum and so forth. Numbers included “Hieroglyphics” by Neil West and “Overture for Percussion” by Mario A. Gaetano, as well as American Heritage tunes such as “Short’nin Bread” and “Yankee Doodle.”
In just one concert 37 different percussion instruments are played. Percussion instruments are not just the drums; they include the marimba, bells, concert snare drum, marching instruments, such as various cymbals, chimes, gong, crotales, timpani, vibraphone, xylophone, tamtam, tenor-drums, tom-toms, agogo bells, anvil, ratchet, slapstick, tambourine, taxi horn, temple and wood blocks, bongo drums, brake drum, cabasa, castanets, claves, conga, cowbell and guiro (also called the scraper).
The University Percussion Ensemble is a unique group of musicians playing a vast array of percussion instruments from a global perspective. Though each member must be a trained musician, members need not be percussionists. The Ensemble is a chamber ensemble which involves critical listening and decision making of a higher order than larger ensembles such as orchestra or band.
The Percussion Ensemble and semi-annual concert are under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music Jack Schmidt, who also directs the Lock Haven University Band, the Lock Haven University Concert Band, and the Lock Haven University/Lock Haven Community Orchestra.