Percussion Ensemble Delivers Powerful Performance

The College of Performing and Visual Arts’ Department of Music hosted its bi-annual SUU Percussion Ensemble cocnert in the Thorley Recital Hall on Monday, Nov. 25. 

Under the direction of Dr. Lynn Vartan, the concert titled “Can You Touch This?” featured dynamic musical numbers ranging in emotion from riveting and intense to uplifting and peaceful. 

The Southern Utah University Percussion Ensembles perform historically significant works for percussion, contemporary percussion literature, novelty percussion and traditional non-western percussion music.

The opening performance was titled “Happenstance,” a number written by Derek Tywoniuk that created meditative feelings of serenity and peace. 

The vibe quickly changed as the next piece, “Flesh and Bone” by Rick Dior, was based around the booming drums and energized the audience. Percussion students Conner Cushman and Russel Horrocks brought to life the emotion of what it means to feel alive in our sometimes mundane lives.

“Rotating Brains,” a very thought provoking number by Jason Lord, drew the audience in as the feelings of mystery were palpable. The final performance invoked wonder and inspired as the entire ensemble performed Francisco Perez’s “Aether.” The song was the grand finale to a wonderful night that showed just how emotionally powerful music can be. 

“This was my first performance with the percussion ensemble and it was so much fun,” said Caroline Ashton, a freshman ensemble student from Kaysville. “We have a great instructor in Dr. Vartan who does everything she can to help us, and we’ve worked so hard to make tonight everything that it turned out to be.”

Dr. Lynn Vartan is an accomplished percussionist who has performed with numerous symphonies and orchestras including the Sierra Wind Symphony and Southwest Chamber Music. She is entering her twelfth year as Director of Percussion at SUU. 

“I’m so happy for the students and how tonight went,” said Dr. Vartan. “They love what they do and bring so much enthusiasm to our percussion program. Tonight’s theme, ‘Can You Feel It?’ invokes deeper thought in an uplifting, sometimes mysterious and playful way.”

The Percussion Ensemble is open to all students, music and non-music majors, who have a desire to continue to learn percussion. For more information about how to become involved please click here.

Story by: Connor Aste

Photo courtesy: SUU University News