Clarion University Symphonic Band Presenting Sunday ‘Heavy Metal’ Concert

bandCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The Clarion University Symphonic Band will present a concert on Sunday, April 30, at 3:00 p.m. in the Marwick-Boyd Auditorium.   

The concert is free and open to the public.

Under the direction of Dr. Casey C. Teske, the theme of the concert is “Heavy Metal” featuring works that specifically employ a wide variety of metallic percussive instruments.  Special guest artist for this concert is the Newyopercussion Contemporary Quartet. The members of this exciting young professional group are:  Bryan Teeters (CUP class of 2010), Dean Anshutz, Matthew Hayes, and Bob Young. 

The concert opens with Foundry by John Mackey.  This piece is based on “Found” percussion utilizing four piles of metal, metal mixing bowls, and a clang that is a metal instrument struck with a hammer.  All of these metallic instruments ultimately make the piece sound like a steel factory.

The next piece is Hypnotic Fireflies written by Brian Balmages. The composition was inspired by a vision of an open field on a summer night, with thousands of fireflies lighting up the darkness.  The music evokes someone being hypnotized by the flashing lights and then waking in the middle of the field, completely engulfed in their glow.  A unique feature of this piece is the use of an amplified slinky.

Alchemy by Andrew Boysen Jr. ends the first part of the program.  The title of this piece refers to the idea that alchemy involves the attempt to combine and transform base metals into gold.  The only percussion instruments used in this composition are made of metal.

The Newyopercussion Contemporary Quartet will continue the concert with three pieces starting with Pieces of  Metal by Steve Reich.  The composition is based on shifting rhythmic patterns akin to the landscape of a kaleidoscope.  Next, they perform Elliot Cole’s Postludes for bowed vibraphone that is a quartet for using eight double bass bows played on one vibraphone.  The quartet will end with Nigel Westlake’s Omophalo Centric Lecture.  The title comes from a painting by Paul Klee – the direct and centered simplicity of which was an inspiration to write the piece and celebrates life through rhythm, energy, and movement.

The symphonic band continues the last part of the concert with Steven Bryant’s The Machine Awakes.  The composition imitates a metal machine waking for the first time and uses an electronic accompaniment that eventually bears a synced “heavy metal” groove.

The concert closes with Aerodynamics by David R. Gillingham.   The composition was written to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the invention of flight by the Wright brothers.  The result is a work that is entirely celebratory in nature, and unfolds in six sections using the Weeping Willow Rag as the centerpiece.

heavy metal


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