Lee University Percussion presents “Marimba Madness"
Lee University Percussion members recently presented “Marimba Madness,” a concert aimed to highlight each percussion member and guest artists, under the direction of Associate Professor of Music Dr. Andy Harnsberger.
“‘Marimba Madness’ [includes] all members of my percussion studio performing a solo on marimba,” Harnsberger said. “The second half of the concert [featured] guest artists, Britain Moore duo, which is steelpan and marimba.”
Graduate student Susannah Clabough performed a piece by Bach on marimba.
“‘Marimba Madness’ is an event where all of the students in the percussion studio, from freshmen to graduate students, get the opportunity to showcase a marimba piece they have recently been working on,” Clabough said. “I have been working on several pieces for marimba in my first year here at Lee, but I have a really cool opportunity through Marimba Madness.”
Clabough said performing Bach on marimba provides the unique opportunity to combine musical genres and eras to create a unique piece.
“For doctoral auditions, percussionists are often asked to play Bach on marimba,” Clabough said. “Now, you might initially think ‘That’s really odd, considering the marimba wasn’t around in the Baroque era,’ but many of the cello suites have been transcribed for marimba.”
Clabough said she was most excited to cheer on her fellow percussion studio students during the concert.
“I’m very close to every member of the studio, so I enjoy seeing each person present a piece that they have spent significant time learning and perfecting,” Clabough said. “It’s a really cool way to see where everyone is in their journey to becoming amazing percussionists.”
Sophomore music education major Dakota Steele performed the four-mallet marimba solo “Odessa” for the show.
“I [was] most looking forward to [performing] for my friends and family, as well as [showing] off what the percussion studio has to offer with my peers,” Steele said.
Freshman music and worship major Alex Loftin said that he hoped the audience appreciated the full diversity of percussion instruments after Sunday night’s performance.
“I hope people realize that percussion is a whole lot more than just the drum set,” Loftin said. “Instruments like the marimba are so beautiful, and people don’t have many chances to hear it played.”
Loftin said the concert provided a unique look into the world of percussion and marimba.
“[It’s] a chance to hear music you can’t hear anywhere else, and it’s…a phenomenal concert,” Loftin said.
For more information on upcoming percussion performances, visit the percussion department's website or follow their Instagram at @leeuniversitypercussion.