The Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition is the most prestigious in the percussion field, and the Florida State University Percussion Ensemble was recently awarded first place.
As the winners of the competition, the FSU Percussion Ensemble will embark on a tour across multiple states, including the Lassiter Concert Hall in Atlanta, GA (November 6), Furman University in Greenville, SC (November 7), and the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY (November 8).
The final performance will be a showcase performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis.
The ensemble will launch the tour with a preview concert in Opperman Music Hall on Saturday November 4 at 7:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Dr. John Parks, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Percussion, knows this will be a truly special opportunity for the group.
“The PAS audience is the greatest possible group of people to play for in the world, and for us, that stage is as big as it gets. Nowhere else could we play for over 3,000 percussion professionals, students, and enthusiasts who understand and appreciate what we do and how we do it more than the showcase audience,” says Parks. “The students and I have joked that we’d rather play PASIC than Carnegie Hall.”
The repertoire was carefully chosen to present what the group does best. The show will open with a high energy “Flamenco-meets-EDM-meets-Indian folk music” arrangement of Ojos de Brujo’s Zambra by Omar Carmenates, FSU Doctor of Music alumnus and Professor of Percussion at Furman University.
The program continues with Andy Akiho’s quartet, Pillar I, John Psathas’s Cloud Folk, and Après Rebonds, a new work based on the famous Rebonds B percussion solo by Iannis Xenakis composed by Luis Rivera, FSU Doctor of Music alumnus and member of the US Air Force Ceremonial Brass in Washington, DC. The show concludes with a new arrangement of Snarky Puppy’s Lingus by Tyler Tolles, FSU Doctor of Music alumnus and member of the US Naval Academy Band in Washington, DC.
“The idea was to have as many alumni arrangers involved as we could, since they truly built the program over the years and made opportunities like PASIC possible for us,” says Parks. “There are no words for how proud I am of our students. They are amazing in every way imaginable and have been rehearsing relentlessly to make the most incredible impression possible on behalf of the College of Music and Florida State University. Their dedication is truly inspiring on a daily basis, and we couldn’t be more excited to share that with everyone.”
“We hope you’ll come see our home show on Saturday November 4 at 7:30pm, in Opperman Music Hall,” continues Parks. “It’s only 50 minutes by design, which should be just about perfect!”
For a sneak peek of the ensemble’s PASIC performance, check out this video on the FSU Percussion Studio YouTube channel.