David Jarvis knows how music calls for unique sounds, and has even more unique ways of collecting them. The WSU School of Music has a basement full of junk-yard treasures, all able to produce a sound when struck.
Jarvis, a professor of music, and his percussion ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Kimbrough Concert Hall. He said the group has existed for 25 years and currently has 13 members.
These 13 members are fluent in all types of percussion, and will move from instrument to instrument between pieces at the performance.
“We play classical percussion, meaning classical percussion works, to stuff that is embracing music from other cultures,” he said.
These classical works can be played by melodic percussion instruments, such as marimbas, he said.
“The different types of ballad instruments . . . are melodic instruments,” he said. “You can actually create orchestral sounds in a percussion orchestra, and it's all struck.”
Besides the percussion ensemble, WSU's Winter Guard International, a marching drum line, and a guest performer, will perform at the concert.
The WGI, organized by Brent Edwards, director of marching percussion, has been consistent on campus since 2005. They will perform a collection of pieces called Mars Volta, all arranged by Edwards.
“It takes me at least two months to get something worthy of putting in front of the players,” he said.
Edwards also said the music he arranged is at a high playing level for the students.
“They've really had to adjust some things and mature their hands,” he said. “This drum line has really stepped up. The most exciting part of it is to show it to the public.”
The guest performer, Stacey Jones, a teacher of music at Hillsdale College, is coming from Michigan. She views performing as a way to remind herself of who she is.
“When a musician chooses a career centered on educating, it is always renewing to perform,” she said. “It is important to remember who I am and why I am doing what I am doing, and then this revitalization cycles back on my teaching.”
Jarvis said one of the pieces Jones will be performing, Marimba Spiritual, is a major work in the percussionist literature.
“She's a phenomenal player,” he said. “(Marimba Spiritual is) the equivalent to like an orchestra playing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. This would be a chance to see a top notch performer that we are backing up”.
The concert is free and open to the public.