The percussion festival this year was awesome! I think in some ways, the students felt it was the best one yet. They really enjoyed the guest artists and all the activities.
Our guest artists were Maraca2 from Birmingham, England, and they spent a few days with us during their tour in the Southwestern states. They came here and stayed the night, and of course, we had a big party that Friday night. Maraca2 did a workshop on saturday all about interpretation, how musicians decide on what our interpretation is, and the things that affect interpretation of music.
My dear friend, Ken McGrath from Los Angeles, came out to do a wonderful workshop on the percussion setup for the broadway show “Wicked.” He arranged the entire percussion setup for Wicked and played along with the recordings. He described being in that kind of pit orchestra, everything from what the room is like, how you get paid, working with the conductor, and finding the right sound. Its crazy how large the setup was!
Maraca2 and Ken McGrath!
It was a great opportunity for everyone to connect and we had a great audience for the concert. Maraca2 played the first half and my students played the second half. We are excited that our audience continues to grow more and more. A lot of people commented that this particular percussion ensemble is the most balanced group that we’ve had, with the most depth and energy as performers! I’m so proud of my students!
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The SUU Percussion Ensemble and I just got back from our Northern Utah tour a few weeks ago and wow, it has been such a fun and crazy ride!
The Northern Utah tour started because each semester we like to feature one of our students and go to their high school. This time, we featured Marissa Brown, who’s a sophomore and we went to her high school in Bountiful, Utah. We also played in other schools in the area to promote the program and to recruit.
The students played 5 concerts in the course of 48 hours which was absolutely amazing. One of the concerts was at a junior high school at 8 o’clock in the morning! And I was really proud at how well they performed so early. Of course, we had lots of fun along the way. Our mantra is “work hard, play hard.” So in addition to unpacking and packing the truck about 10 times and just playing great concerts, they also had a lot of fun playing at the arcade.
We travelled to Lincoln Academy in Pleasant Grove, to Farmington High School, to Grantsville High School, to Marissa’s high school, Viewmont High School in Bountiful, and stayed in Salt Lake City.
We played Ballet for Basketballs, Into the Air, Mean Man March, Table Music, José/beFORe JOHN5, Higuita, Trio Per Uno and Tribeca Sunflower.
Ballet for Basketballs
Marissa playing the udu!
Into the Air
Wiped out after 5 concerts!
It was so fun going on tour with the SUU Percussion Ensemble! The biggest surprise was how much they’ve improved performing because they performed so many times and they work so well together as a group! Looking forward to more tours with SUU percussionists!
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The SUU Percussionists and I went on an outreach last month in central Utah through SUU’s artsFUSION program. Just a quick description of the program, artsFUSION sends different types of artists to rural areas to share their expertise. We have been doing this every year for the past 3 years now and it is such a pleasure to reach out and work with the young students! They are always excited to play the drums! Yay!
This year, we went to Huntington, Cleveland, Richfield, and Monroe, Utah. We had the students try different types of drums and discussed concepts such as sound, composers, graphic notation, what is a conductor, and how do performers listen and interact with each other. The students came up with some great answers and it was a lot of fun going back and forth with questions and answers!
We played drumming games to get the students to learn how to listen to each other and repeating after one another, like “Simon says.” It was so fun to see how the students reacted and how they followed along!
The percussionists and I had some down time in between traveling so we found an arcade to hang out and play games!
Wow! I’ve been travelling non stop! First Iowa, then Kanab, then the percussion outreach in central Utah! After this was the SUU Percussion Ensemble tour to Northern Utah! But it has been an exciting adventure with the SUU percussionists. I’m having a great time travelling with them, getting to know them better and seeing them grow as musicians.
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The SUU Percussion Ensemble just performed at the Crescent Moon Theater in Kanab, Utah. Last year, we were invited because one of my former students, Taylor Armstrong, is from Kanab and we featured him in the concert last year. We had such a great time last year so we were excited to perform there again!
In the truck full of our gear!
Snow fight in the parking lot!
Dress rehearsal for Ballet for Basketballs
Marshall and Darin!
This year, we performed a few new and fun pieces as well as some of our favorites: Ballet for Basketballs by Montgomery Hatch, Into the Air by Ivan Trevino, Mean Man March by Alex Orfaly, Table Music by Thierry de Mey, Jose/BeFORe John5 by Aurel Hollo, Higuita by Stephen Whibley, Trio Per Uno by Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic and Tribeca Sunflower by Julie Spencer.
It was a little different this year because we actually had an opening act! He was a Teddy Roosevelt impersonator and the whole time he was around, he was in character!
The ensemble with Teddy Roosevelt impersonator!
After the concert, we all stayed in a really cool guest house!
Everyone snuggled in their sleeping bags!
Loading our stuff the following day
The Crescent Moon Theater, Kanab’s Little Hollywood!
We had such a fun time in Kanab! It was amazing how much the group grew in one night, both in performing and in team work. I definitely sensed their togetherness that night after the performance! They all played so great! We definitely plan to come back every year!
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I had such a great time in Iowa! Even though it was so cold, the towns I visited were all so pretty with snow!
Last year, percussionist and dulcimer player, Matthew Coley, came out to SUU for Satellite Salon. He then invited me to Iowa to be the artist-in-residency at Iowa State University, and we presented masterclasses/clinics and performed duo concerts throughout the area.
Zodiac on the floor that gives you bad grades if you step on it!
Iowa State University students rehearsing on stage!
Masterclass at ISU
Matthew and I!
Matthew and I pretty much went on a mini tour! Our clinics and performances took us through Iowa State University in Ames, West Marshall High School in State Center, University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, and the University of Iowa in Iowa City. I met some great students and music teachers!
Performing Alborada del Gracioso from the Safri Duo collection at University of Iowa
Playing In the Fire of Conflict!
University of Iowa Percussion!
I had such an amazing time in Iowa and hanging out with Matthew. Thanks Matthew, for putting together such a great week!
Matthew and I at the Des Moines Sculpture Garden!
Check back for more Lynn happenings!
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Helena was amazing! It is always such a pleasure to have the opportunity to play a concerto. I went to Helena, Montana for 5 days to play with the Helena Symphony on January 26.
I performed Joseph Schwantner’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra. The piece sounds so great and was fun to perform! It has 3 movements; the outer two movements are fast and are played from above the stage on risers, back where the percussion section is. The second movement, which is the slower movement, is down stage, in the front. There was an interesting instrumention of vibraphone, tuned almglocken, water gong, shakere, marimba and drums. The cadenza for the piece is wide open and completely improvised on drums for 5-6 minutes. We had one rehearsal on that Thursday, one rehearsal that Friday, a run-through on Saturday and the concert that night.
It was such an honor to be there and to perform with the orchestra. The people in Helena take such good care of me. As many of you saw on Facebook, I was on a billboard and that was so fun to see!
I’m on a billboard!
There were so many people at the concert and the program was really well received. It was such a fantastic venue. The Helena Symphony also performed the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, an awesome and important work in music literature, during the second half. The conductor, Allan Scott, whom I’ve worked with before, is really such a pleasure to work with and easy to collaborate with. During intermission, they had me go into the lobby to sign posters and other things so that was a lot of fun!
It was a great great trip. Helena was cold and chilly but there was hardly any snow. On the way back, I got stuck at the Salt Lake Airport over night because it was closed down due to bad weather. But it was a fantastic trip and such a great experience for me. I can’t wait to play the piece again soon!
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I had a great opportunity to play a solo recital at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California! Beyond Baroque is a Literary/Arts Center which offers a program of readings, new music, free workshops, publishing, bookstore, archiving, and education.
Last summer, I was invited to perform a solo concert for December 14th at Beyond Baroque. Since I was in the process of recording my solo album at the time, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to perform pieces from my album. I also collaborated with some artists for a complete visual and performing arts concert!
Rehearsing Toccata for Marimba by Anna Ignatowicz. Paintings by Susan Dobay!
Another painting by Susan!
The theatre at Beyond Baroque had great acoustics and the marimba sounded amazing in that room! Their stage technician did a great job with the projection of the paintings and adding “mood lights” for the different pieces.
The pieces I chose for this concert are Abaca by Guillaume Le Picard, Three Etudes by New Zealand composer, Gareth Farr, Toccata for Marimba by Anna Ignatowicz along with painting collaboration of my friend Susan Dobay. I also performed In the Fire of Conflict, by Christos Hatzis. This is a really cool piece because I play the marimba along with a recording of electronics and a rapper, a very unique sound! Then I played Blue Memories by Daniel Berg, Niflheim by Csaba Zoltán Marján, Anna by Manuel Leuenberger, (which I dedicated to my mom!) The last piece I played was Sense and Innocence by Dave Maric which I collaborated with SUU faculty and graphic designer, Jeff Hansen.
Performing Sense and Innocence by Dave Maric, film by Jeff Hansen
It looked like bubbles were coming out of my mallets hitting the marimba!
With artist, Susan Dobay!
I had such a great time performing a solo concert! Many of my family and friends attended and it was so much fun performing for them. I want to thank everyone who came and supported! I also want to thank Marimba One for providing the such an outstanding instrument!
Thanks for reading!
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