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The Eastern Echo Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

EMU’s Percussion Ensemble entertains audience in Pease Auditorium

The EMU Percussion Ensemble shows off its multitude of talents during upbeat concert.

EMU’s Percussion Ensemble performed in Pease Auditorium on Monday, Feb. 17, under the direction of Professor John F. Dorsey.

The concert began with a warm welcome from Dorsey. The ensemble played a series of five songs. Shuffling instruments and musicians around between each song, the group allowed for a variety of people and sounds to be heard by the crowd. 

The performance kicked off with “Sprockets'' by Kevin Lepper, highlighting seven different musicians of the ensemble: Zack Abunab, Noah Gorman, Rebekah Kindy, Noah Lopez Sebestian Lubahn, Ian McCrystal, Kyla Molitierno, and Isaiah Pelt.

The show continued with “What goes Around Comes Around” by Chris Carmean, followed by “Tango Suite,” by Astor Piazzola, which was performed by the ensemble as a duet. The audience responded with standing ovations to the performance.

Dorsey has been a professor of percussion at EMU since 1997. He shared his experience in the classroom and his goals.

“It is a lot of fun, there is never a dull moment. There are always a lot of things to do and students have to learn a bunch of things because percussion is not just one instrument it is many instruments, so they are always busy. When we do one on one lessons, they get to work on one thing at a time. But when we work in groups like this they get to do multiple things and really expand their horizons, which is why it is a huge part of their education,“ Dorsey said.

Isaiah Pelt, a member of EMU’s percussion ensemble, explained that playing in the ensemble is the best part of their music education. 

“I really love the percussion ensemble, as a percussion music major specifically, it is probably the best part of our major. That we actually get to enjoy our time and play what we like playing, rather than in the big ensembles where we don’t really get to focus on what we want to do,“ Pelt said. 

“Professor Dorsey has been doing a really really good job, all these years and if it wasn't for him there would be no show,“ Pelt said.

Nearing the end, a trio played “Little Rumba” by Rolando Morales-Matos. To close the concert, “Kyoto” by John Psathas performed by a larger group.

 “The last piece we played was really difficult because the timing of it was odd. It wasn't a simple nodding of your head piece, it changed the whole time,“ reflected Claire Castle, member of the ensemble. “I hope [the concert] did its job. A concert is really good when you can walk away feeling like you love music, so I hope the audience enjoyed the concert.”

For more information on EMU’s School of Music and Dance upcoming events, visit their website.

“I hope [the audience] first get musical satisfaction, some entertainment and I hope that they gain appreciation for percussion because we often don’t get the respect we deserve. Percussion has grown and we are really a prominent part of a lot of music now. This concert really shows off what we can do,“ Dorsey said.