Percussion ensemble performs spring concert


Nayeli Vazquez | The Daily Eastern News

Anders Frank, Selena RIngberg and Chris Aghaei sing alongside Director Jamie Ryan in a traditional Afro-Cuban performance.

Dara McGee, Contributing Writer

Eastern’s Percussion Ensemble put on their annual spring concert for the 2018-2019 season.

The concert took place Tuesday night at 7:30 in the Dvorak Concert Hall in the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

The ensemble performed eight pieces in total, beginning with pieces that people may be more used to hearing from the percussionists, but that wasn’t all they had to show the audience.

Concert attendees were able to experience a little bit of Cuba as they were taken away by the drumming in some traditional pieces such as Iya Mase for Chango, Ogun and Ochun, and El Tahonero.

To some of the audience members, it was a pleasant surprise to hear the percussionists play someone that derives from the norm.

One of those people was Woody Newman III, a sophomore who is a double major in theatre and television/video production.

“I thought the [Cuban] music that they were playing was quite interesting,” he said.

Newman was actually in Doudna’s studio while the performance was going on, recording it for one of his classes.

Newman said he thought the percussion ensemble’s choice to play afro-Cuban music during their concert was refreshing for Eastern’s campus, as well as the Charleston community.

“I think it’s pretty cool that they’re actually trying to dive in to different cultures of whatnot,” he said.

Newman considered the percussion ensembles ode to afro-Cuban music was a way of showing their appreciation toward the art form.

“They weren’t doing it just to say, ‘Oh lets just do this;’ they were doing it because it’s good music,” he said. 

Corey Clark, a music education major who will be switching to finance in the fall, was one of the performers in the concert ensemble.

Clark said he thought he did a good job during the performance as well as everyone else who was performing that night.

He said he enjoyed playing the pieces that were selected for Tuesday night’s performance, but said he does not have a favorite type of music to play, unless it connects with him on a personal level. 

“I think it’s a funny question when people ask a musician what their favorite type of music is to play. I like all types of music, especially music that I can be emotionally attached to,” he said.

Clark said the pieces that take a lot of time, effort and work to perform are also some music that he feels the best playing.

“We played a piece last year that I just spent hours in the practice room, and I was just really emotionally attached to it.”

Even though Clark wants to change his course of a career and venture down financing, he still plans on playing the drums as much as he can.

“I’m going to continue on that route and hopefully get into doing some financial advisory for some companies and something along those lines, and just be able to go out on the weekends and play music and just enjoy myself with music.”

Dara McGee can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].