By ALYSSA ROBBINS
On February 5, in the Shea Center Auditorium the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble performed for their 50th anniversary.
William Paterson Percussion Professor Pete Jarvis conducted the program and even played in a few songs like Penance Creek (2017). He premiered two new pieces, including one that he wrote with French hornist, John Clark, named Concerto for Horn and Percussion Sextet, Opus 54 (2016). In addition to listening to the songs, Doctor Payton McDonald premiered his trailer for his new movie, Ringing Changes.
Each piece performed was from the new music genre. New music is any classical music that is from the 20th century and on. Jarvis enjoys getting all of his percussion students to perform at each of his concerts. Every song, which even though they are all from the same genre, were all different in their own way, with not one sounding like the last.
“The concert was definitely very interesting,” junior percussionist Christian Olivera, who watched the performance and is in the new music class said. “I like the idea of new music because it inspires composers to develop pieces that are innovative and challenging.”
During the concert, there were many great pieces that were performed, but some were better than others. Forced Bravery (2014), was meant for ten drum sets, but they only used one and the rest were electronic based. With all of the electronic sound effects mixed with the real drum set it did not sound rhythmically correct.
“Composers will often create pieces that have no logical progression or fluency, hence discouraging the viewer(s) from wanting to hear more,” Olivera said. I think as an artist, this is bad because we want people to hear our music, but, if the audience doesn’t understand, or can’t connect, it won’t inspire them to think about the music, or analyze it.”
Don’t let this one piece deter you from the new music scene. There are a bunch of other pieces that you can listen to and enjoy.
The 50th anniversary of the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble went very well. There were students who were in the first new music class in 1968 at the concert supporting all of the new members. When the concert ended all of the performers took a bow and honored everyone who had been in the class before them. Everyone who performed walked off stage with a smile on their face.
They all did a great job and curious fans can catch their next performance on February 26, at 7:00 pm.