Percussion Ensemble creates memories and fulfills childhood dreams at KSC

April Fool’s Day may be an opportunity for others to prank their friends, but the day is no joke as the Keene State College Percussion Ensemble gets an opportunity to pound out the dreams of their childhood and high school years. As a mostly music major-based group, playing the drums is more than just a passion for these students — it’s a lifestyle.

For the past 12 years the Director, Christopher Swist, has been putting on a percussion ensemble performance to showcase the talent of his percussionists at KSC. On Wednesday, April 1, in the Alumni Recital Hall, various student percussionists and composers were able to present what they have been working so hard on this past semester.

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

Music performance major, Matt Marzola, said he wanted to be a drummer ever since he was a little kid.

“My older brother played the drums,” Marzola explained, “And I always wanted to be just like him growing up.”

Being a part of the percussion ensemble is a requirement for music performance majors with a percussion focus, but Marzola insisted that he would have joined even if he did not have to. “Percussion ensemble has been one of the most fun things I have done so far at Keene State,” Marzola said, “I’m honestly glad that it is a requirement.”

Another member of Wednesday night’s performance, Eric Dill, also shared the same enthusiasm about the ensemble.

“Freshman year of high school my sister told me to join marching band,” Dill stated, “I was put on the bass drum and automatically fell in love. I knew that this is what I wanted to do.”

Also a music major, Dill needed to join percussion ensemble, but he was interested in the group before even arriving first semester. Dill expressed that he did not have a percussion ensemble at his high school, so finding out about KSC’s ensemble made it easy for him to find a way to continue his love for percussion. “We have five more performances this semester, including my solo performance, which I’m really excited about,” Dill said.

Not only was the performance fulfilling for the participants, but also for the audience members. First-year, Bridget Pierce, was a drummer in high school, but did not have time to continue her music in college.

“I’m a Spanish Education major with a minor in Theater,” Pierce stated, “I would have loved to continue drumming, but I barely have time to myself as it is.”

Being a percussionist herself, Pierce said it was easy to enjoy her self at Wednesday night’s performance. “I enjoyed it a lot,” Pierce explained, “I was a percussionist all through high school so I understand what it takes to put pieces like this together.” Pierce came to support a friend in the performance, but admitted that she would have came regardless. “To be honest I didn’t know what to expect coming here,” Pierce said, “I liked how they reverted from using similar songs the whole show. It was very diverse and kept you interested.”Christopher Swist stated that any student can join the different ensembles at KSC, regardless of their major.

Olivia Belanger can be contacted at

Share and Enjoy !