Pulse Percussion Wins WGI World Championship

Pulse Percussion Ensemble with Freshmen Trent Gronewold and Emmanuel Mora, and Junior Connie Truong won the WGI Percussion World Championship. Danielle Collins (MM Music Education) is co-founder and President of the Board of Directors of Pulse, alumnus Darren Loney is also on the Board, and alumnus Ian Grom is Percussion Front Ensemble Coordinator/Arranger.

POW, a new Pulse team, earned a spot in finals and finished 13th. The three-day World Championship event, held in Dayton Ohio this year, evaluated more than 200 percussion ensembles from over 40 states and 4 countries.

James Yoshizawa: Bodhrán Soloist and Percussionist

Alumnus James Yoshizawa has been asked to be the bodhrán soloist and percussionist in the new Broadway musical, “Come From Away.” There will be some touring in Washington DC and Toronto, then it will land on Broadway in NYC in January 2017. He will also return to the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival as a guest artist this summer and record his second album with the Jonathan Rowden Group this summer.

Amanda Duncan Featured in When Steel Talks

Alumnus Amanda Duncan was interviewed by “When Steel Talks” for their Women In Pan feature. The article goes into depth about Amanda’s experiences playing pan. She says, “In any subject or discipline, experiencing something is the best way to learn about it, as opposed to reading about it in a book or watching a video. I’ve known for a long time about the Trinidadian way of approaching music and Panorama, but I couldn’t fully absorb and deeply internalize what I knew to be true until I experienced it myself in the Silver Stars yard. I now feel like I’m slowly starting to “get it” on a deep internal level, and in my classroom I feel like I’m starting to teach this music with less of an “accent.” I will never know the steel pan, culturally-speaking, as deeply as Trinidadians because I am an American, of course, and wasn’t born into the culture from which the pan was cultivated. I will always “have an accent” when I play and when I teach. However, approaching music and Panorama through the Trinidadian lens, after having been to Trinidad and performed in Panorama myself, feels more intuitive than it did before. I’ve slowly started to absorb a bit of the “Trinidadian way” into my teaching language and foundation.”

 

Amanda Duncan Interviewed for Women In Pan

Alumnus Amanda Duncan was interviewed by “When Steel Talks” for their Women In Pan feature. The article goes into depth about Amanda’s experiences playing pan. She says, “In any subject or discipline, experiencing something is the best way to learn about it, as opposed to reading about it in a book or watching a video. I’ve known for a long time about the Trinidadian way of approaching music and Panorama, but I couldn’t fully absorb and deeply internalize what I knew to be true until I experienced it myself in the Silver Stars yard.

“I now feel like I’m slowly starting to “get it” on a deep internal level, and in my classroom I feel like I’m starting to teach this music with less of an “accent.” I will never know the steel pan, culturally-speaking, as deeply as Trinidadians because I am an American, of course, and wasn’t born into the culture from which the pan was cultivated. I will always “have an accent” when I play and when I teach. However, approaching music and Panorama through the Trinidadian lens, after having been to Trinidad and performed in Panorama myself, feels more intuitive than it did before. I’ve slowly started to absorb a bit of the “Trinidadian way” into my teaching language and foundation.”

Amanda Duncan Interviewed by Trinidad & Tobago Guardian

The Trinidad & Tobago Guardian interviewed alumna Amanda Duncan for an article called “The Joy of Pan.” Liam Teague, who has visited CSULB, organized several Americans to attend “Panorama,” a huge steel pan festival. Amanda performed with his PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra. She is quoted as saying, “I started playing steel pan in my first year in university in 2004, at California State University, Long Beach. “Performing on finals night was by far the greatest musical experience of my life. Sharing that stage with so many other people who love pan as much as I do was indescribable, and there is nothing at home in the US that comes close to that kind of performance.”

Dave Gerhart Premieres Work for Solo Steelpan

Dave Gerhart was the featured soloist in a benefit concert for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Steel Orchestra Program at the University of Chicago. Dr. Gerhart premiered “Passageways” for solo steelpan and percussion ensemble by Baljinder Sekhon. The premiere was part of a consortium of 44 steel drum performers and educators that Dr. Gerhart organized.

Brad Dutz Celebrates 10th anniversary of his Quartet

Lecturer Brad Dutz celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Brad Dutz Quartet with a performance at REDCAT last week. “Celebrated for bringing an airy, bright, thoroughly original instrumental palette to its blend of 21st-century acoustic chamber music, improvisation and free jazz, the quartet led by ace percussionist and composer Brad Dutz first came together at REDCAT 10 years ago. It features Dutz on marimba, vibes and all manner of hand percussion, Brian Walsh on clarinet and bass clarinet, Paul Sherman on oboe and English horn, and Chris Votek on cello, with their precise yet fluid contrapuntal work conjuring a vibrant sound like no other. Even as Dutz, one of the most sought-after session percussionists in L.A., forgoes the conventional grooves in favor of color and texture, the band always stirs up a brisk, propulsive swing.”

Yumi Tamashiro and Mobius Percussion Featured by Vic Firth

The video of “Vicious Children” by Wally Gunn was featured on the Vic Firth site. The performance was by Mobius Percussion, with alumna Yumi Tamashiro. Yumi and Mobius will work with Bob Cole Conservatory composers and perform at Daniel Recital Hall on February 11.

Based in New York City, the ensemble made their debut at downtown multimedia art cabaret, (Le) Poisson Rouge, performing alongside other notable artists including So Percussion, Nexus, Meehan/Perkins Duo and Mantra Percussion. Since then they have performed at venues including the Firehouse Space, the Cell, Princeton Sound Kitchen, Good Child Music Studios, and Andrea Clearfield’s Salon to name a few.

 

photo credit: Paul Hofreiter

Mike Miley one of 10 Best Rock Drummers

Alumnus Mike Miley (Rival Sons) was named one of the “10 best rock drummers in the world right now” by musicradar.com 2014. They mention, “The Californian rockers dropped their fifth studio album, Great Western Valkryie, which took just five weeks to record in Nashville but earned them a five-star review in Rhythm for its sweet kit sounds and Mike Miley’s unquestionably huge groove.”