Eastman Percussion Ensemble to Premiere New Works at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference

November 1, 2017

More Information:
For Media Only: Rick Kessel (585-274-1052, rkessel@esm.rochester.edu)

Richard Kessel, Mobile: (585) 451-8492; Jessica Kaufman, (585) 274-1057

As two-time winners of the International Percussion Ensemble Competition, the Eastman Percussion Ensemble was chosen to perform at this year’s Percussive Arts Society International Conference (PASIC) in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 11 at 1 p.m. The Ensemble — which is comprised of juniors, seniors, and graduate students —is led by Professor of Percussion, Michael Burritt. The group will perform world premieres, as well as recent works that feature the group’s artistry and versatility.

The purpose of the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition is to encourage, promote and reward musical excellence among middle school/junior high percussion ensembles, high school, nonprofit percussion ensembles, and collegiate percussion ensembles.

“This is the second time in four years that the Percussion Ensemble has been selected as a winner in the International Percussion Ensemble Competition,” said Professor Burritt. “The opportunity to perform for the prestigious audience at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention is unparalleled in our field. These kinds of events allow us to focus our preparation and come together as group in a way that few other experiences yield.”

The world premieres include:

Cloud Folk – a work by New Zealand composer John Psathas, recipient of Eastman’s John Beck Prize. The John Beck Prize is made possible by the generous support of Ann Carol and Paul S. Goldberg, Kathleen Holt and Stephen Lurie, Ruth and Bill Cahn, Michael Burritt, and the Eastman School of Music Percussion Department. Cloud Folk is written for eight percussionists and piano, a large ensemble by our standards. John Psathas is a very well-known composer in the percussion world, and the new work is certain to become a staple in this idiom.

Rhapsody No. 1 is a new work by Eastman Percussion Professor Michael Burritt, written expressly for the performance at PASIC 2017.  The piece is a one-movement thrill ride through contrasting sections and timbres, set in an entertaining and virtuosic framework.

The Feeling of Coming Home by current Eastman student Victor LaBozzetta. Victor is a percussion major who has shown interest in composing and has a unique voice. The music has a clear popular music influence, with a folky and sincere language that is quite beautiful.

PASIC premieres include:

Decay No. 1 by Matthew Curlee – Eastman premiered this exciting new piece for five percussionists in February 2017. Curlee, a theory professor and composer at Eastman, wrote the work expressly for the Eastman Percussion Ensemble. Written in three movements, Decay No.1 is one of the most exciting and original new compositions for this medium.

Spine by Michael Laurello is a work for three percussion instruments and piano. It focuses on timbre, specifically that found in metal and skin instruments.

There will also be a preview performance at the Eastman School of Music on Tuesday, November 7 in Kilbourn Hall at 8 p.m. For further information, click on: http://www.rochester.edu/Eastman/calendar/?event&id=1131826&from=07November2017&to=07November2017

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About Eastman School of Music:

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.

About 900 students are enrolled in Eastman’s Collegiate Division– about 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Students come from almost every state, and approximately 20 per cent are from other countries. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members. Seven Pulitzer Prize winners have taught at Eastman, as have several Grammy Award winners. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 700 concerts to the Rochester community.

About the Percussive Arts Society: 

The Percussive Arts Society (PAS) is the world’s largest percussion organization and is a source for information and networking for percussionists and drummers of all ages. Established in 1961 as a non-profit, music service organization and their mission is to inspire, educate, and support percussionists and drummers throughout the world. Each year PAS hosts the largest percussion convention in the world, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), featuring the top names in drumming and percussion. PASIC features over 120 concerts, clinics, master classes, labs, workshops, panels and presentations given by the finest artists from around the world and showcasing all areas of percussion — drum set, marching, keyboard, symphonic, world, recreational, education, music technology, new music, and health & wellness.