It all began with a bang.
On Sunday, April 8, the Keene State College Music Department presented its next installment in the Ensemble Recital Series, The Percussion Ensemble. The performance was directed by Resident Artist Christopher Swist and Lecturer Amy Garapic.
The first piece titled “Displacement” by Anthony Miranda was performed as a call-and-answer piece, in which the two parts eventually joined together in unison. As the sticks began to move in sync, the simultaneous sound encompassed the audience and continued to grow throughout the song until it met its abrupt end.
Sophomore Avery Ruggles attended the performance to support her friends that were performing and expressed her overall thoughts on the show. “I thought it was good. Every time I come to [percussion ensembles] I’m impressed. I’m not very good at stuff like that so it’s cool to see other people who are crazy talented and able to do musical stuff like that,” Ruggles said.
Ruggles explained that her favorite song was “Terminals Part 1: Departures” by Bobby Previte. The song began with four of the members of the ensemble standing at the front of the stage with their drumsticks crossed. They started to bang out a pattern, but periodically dropped their sticks onto the stage and either picked them back up or reached into their back pocket for their next pair. As the group of four continued to drop the sticks, they began to incorporate comedy into it by doing things such as hitting the sticks out of each other hands.
Senior Eric Dill then walked onto the stage during the rhythmic chaos and began playing on the drumset. The four other performers followed in suit and mirrored the beats Dill played. The song later showcased individual’s work on the washboard, whip and highlight Dill’s performance on the spoons.
Dill is graduating this semester with a degree in percussion music performance. He discovered his passion for percussion in eighth grade after joining the marching band and has been performing since then. “My drive is to be able to perform and share my personal music with a bunch of people, and play with a bunch of people too,” Dill said.
Overall, Dill expressed he was pleased with the outcome his final percussion performance at the college. “It went much better than I expected. There were a few rough edges, but it went much better than I expected,” Dill said.
First-year Cailyn Brochey performed in her second percussion ensemble on Sunday and was also happy with the show. “Everyone worked as a team and it really brought us together. It’s a great way to send our seniors out. I thought it went well,” Brochey said.
The performance concluded with the piece “So Long Eric” by Charles Mingus. The song featured Carol Jean Swist, Christopher Swist’s mother, on keyboard, and senior Callie Carmosino on flute.
After the ensemble members played their last note, they all looked around the stage at each other, smiled and then laughed.
Erin McNemar can be contacted at emcnemar@kscequinoxcom