UTC percussion performance a smashing success

A few nights before Thanksgiving, eager percussion fans donated boxes of non-perishable goods to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen as they entered the Roland Hayes Concert Hall for an eclectic and highly entertaining performance of the UTC Percussion Ensemble.

Adam Blevins, Matthew Broom, Jonathan Duke, Nick Garofalo, Will Robertson, James Smith, III, Sarah Snyder and Dallas Thomas are included in the UTC Percussion Ensemble. Each one is pursuing a music degree. Guest performer was Mary Barton.

Director Monte Coulter of the UTC Music Department started the fifth annual event with "Head Talk," featuring members of the ensemble beating drum heads, throwing them to one another and finishing the piece by smashing drum heads covered with brown paper over their heads.

Coulter said the night would be less formal to move the program along, and so while he spoke, instruments were moved and the stage was set.

Coulter joined the Ensemble in the bell performance of Variation X, "Nimrod the Hunter." Coulter explained that in the 1600s, Sir Edward Elgar would write a theme with personality about someone living at the time, and the fun part was to solve the mystery of which famous person it was written for.

"Nimrod the Hunter" was the exception, however, because Elgar wrote it about his best friend, with whom he used to hunt. Nimrod was the constellation they would see in the night sky.

The crowd favorite seemed to be "Ku Ka Illimoku," a Hawaiian war dance. Christopher Rouse, featuring only percussion instruments wrote it as a professional level piece.

Mark your calendars for an unforgettable evening in November, 2001. Earplugs are not necessary.

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