MCMS Percussion Ensemble live in concert Monday, March 2
By Kathryn Schiliro
After much practice, local students are prepared to "bang on the drum all day," or all night.
The seventh and eighth grade Percussion Ensembles will perform a concert, Monday night, March 2, showcasing solely percussion pieces that they've worked on since late last year.
The second such concert - the first took place last year - is set to include pieces titled "Tequila," "Calico" and "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," played by eight eighth grade percussionists, as well as "Marissa's Merengue," "Noisy Treehouse" and "C-Sam Blues," played by seven seventh grade percussionists. The two groups will then join to play "Pulled Wool," a "call and response" piece composed by Dave Boardman, Camp Twin Lakes health rhythms co-ordinator and local percussionist who volunteers his time to work with the two ensembles.
Featured styles of music in the concert range from classical to jazz to African drumming, according to Morgan County Middle School band director Wade Taylor.
"I think when people think of percussion, they think of snare or bass," Taylor said. "The more melodic percussion instruments may be something they're not expecting."
"Each piece has a melody in it...The melody, dynamics- it's everything you expect from an ensemble," Boardman said.
Part of the concert, and of the class, Taylor and Boardman have the budding percussionists play on a different instrument for each song.
"It's important to give them all experience on different instruments," Boardman said. "Everybody always wants to play drums, but they're going to gravitate to one place or another. In this situation, everyone's a soloist."
"Being a percussionist requires you to play on all those things," Taylor said. "There's alot of responsibility to be a percussionist."
While the biggest challenge for the eighth grade students has been "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," according to Boardman, simply because it's the most lengthy piece of music they've played, the challenge for the seventh grade students has been transitioning to percussion.
"They played a wind instrument in sixth grade, so they're playing percussion for the first time," Boardman said. "It's not about pounding or hitting as hard as they can all the time."
But this hasn't stopped competition between the groups, and that competition is set to come out in the finale piece "Pulled Wool."
"In one part they play back while the other plays the groove," Boardman said. "Then they switch. There's a little bit of rivalry between the groups."
Come and hear the Morgan County Middle School Percussion Ensembles keep the beat Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. in the "Bullpup Cafe," better known as the school's cafeteria. The concert is free and open to the public.
"You're probably going to hear something you've never heard before," Boardman said.
PHOTO BY A. BELLEBUONO
KEEP THE BEAT Members of the Morgan County Middle School Percussion Ensembles practice in preparation for their upcoming concert Monday night, March 2.
Printed in the February 26, 2009 edition.