Review: Percussion Ensemble Concert

The University of Jamestown percussion ensemble performed for their winter concert on November 30th at the DeNault Auditorium. The group is small, but mighty. Led by Dr. Jason Kihle, the percussionists presented a wonderful concert. The performers as listed in the program are Michael Azure, Alivia Hoke, Nicholas Johnson, Henry Kersey-Russell, Madeline Lang, Sydney Lewellen, Sariah Sanders, Madeline Stangl, Hailee Stevens, and Jaymee Weatherly.

The group performed 8 different pieces, and each led the audience on a journey. Two songs in particular stood out to me. Primal Groove by Jonan Keeny and Edge of the World by Nathan Daughtrey. Each of these pieces almost painted a picture with the sounds that were created. Primal Groove used sharp and abrupt accents on smaller instruments while lower tones were played on base drums. Edge of the World focused on the xylophone and marimba with light flowing tunes. They were very contrasting pieces but they each painted such a clear picture in my mind.

Dr. Jason Khile took the time before each song to explain what each instrument was and showcased the unique sounds they made. Every instrument added a new element to the piece that they were played in. This same idea can be applied to each student that participated in this ensemble. Dr. Khile stated that he is going to miss each of the seniors dearly. He commented how they each add their skills to the ensemble and how they have helped to shape the group into what it is today. Both Jaymee Weatherly and Nicholas Johnson performed in the percussion ensemble for the last time as they are student teaching in the spring. They are both going to be graduating with a music education degree in May. I think the young musicians of the future will be in great hands with these two as their teachers.

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