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Percussion Ensemble celebrates milestones with concerts

April  26, 2012

The Augustana Percussion Ensemble will perform two concerts on Sunday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. in Centennial Hall (3703 7th Ave.). Admission is free.

The concerts are titled Early 1930's and 1940's: Varese, Cage, and Contemporaries and Blues to Rock and All Sorts of Other Good Stuff In Between, respectively.

The 8:45 p.m. concert will feature the Augustana World Hand Drumming Group, and compositions by junior percussion major Jakub Luba, from Palatine, Ill., and Dr. Tony Oliver, director of the Augustana Percussion Ensemble and adjunct assistant professor of music.

Luba said, "I'm excited for the concert because contemporary literature does not have a home in today's culture, and we get to present a great variety of it in one concert." The earliest composition featured in either of the concerts is Edgard Varese's Ionisation, composed in 1931, which is considered to be the first percussion ensemble piece ever written.  

When asked why the ensemble will present two concerts, Dr. Oliver responded, "2012 is the centenary of John Cage's birth. I thought it would be interesting to set the musical scene by performing other percussion works from the period, most notably Varese's Ionisation, which will feature Daniel Culver as guest conductor." Dr. Daniel Culver is director of orchestral activities, professor of music and co-chair of Augustana's department of music. Dr. Oliver added, "The repertoire of the second concert features more contemporary works varying in styles."

Dr. Oliver continued, "There should be something for everyone. It will be a great night of percussion at Augustana."

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833