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K-State Today

November 14, 2016

Percussion ensembles to perform fall concert, tribute to former student

Submitted by Kurt Gartner

K-State Percussion Ensembles

K-State's percussion ensembles will present a fall semester concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in McCain Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

K-State students will perform "Memories of an Unforgettable Love" by Juan Alamo, with Kirstyn Norris, senior in applied music, as marimba soloist; "Nola" by Felix Arndt, with Meridith Neuer, junior in music education, as xylophone soloist; and "Cross Corners" by George Hamilton Green, with Christian Martinez, junior in music education, as xylophone soloist.

Playing the title role in Christopher Rouse's "Bonham," Hunter Sprong, junior in music education, will lead this percussion ensemble celebration of the late drummer for the legendary group Led Zepplin.

The concert will conclude with the premiere of "Touch the Sky," recently commissioned by Kurt Gartner, professor of music and director of K-State's Percussion Ensemble I.

The work — which will feature violinist Christina Minton, sophomore in music — was composed by alumnus Bryce Craig and is dedicated to the memory of Andrew Abdayem, a former K-State student and contemporary of Craig who died earlier this year.

Given Abdayem's family heritage and his deep friendship with many K-State students, the title of the work, suggested by Minton, is especially fitting. Transliterated as "iilmas a-ssama," the title is an excerpt of a saying attributed to Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet.

K-State's Percussion Ensemble II will perform "Celebration" by Tom Gauger and "Wa-Ka," a traditional West African piece. Alex Wimmer, graduate teaching assistant and doctoral student student, will conduct Anthony Cirone's "4/4 for Four." Jack Donovan, graduate teaching assistant and master's student is the coach of the xylophone features of Percussion Ensemble I. The ensemble is under the direction of Neil Dunn, instructor of dance and music. 

The concert will be streamed live online