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School of Music Percussion Ensemble

USC School of Music Percussion Ensemble wins international competition

By Frenche Brewer, brewer4@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-3691

The University of South Carolina School of Music’s Percussion Ensemble has been selected as one of three winners of the 2012 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition.  

The Percussive Arts Society (PAS)is an international music service organization promoting percussion education, research, performance and appreciation.

Scott Herring, director of the USC Percussion Ensemble, said being selected as a winner in the competition is a goal of university percussion programs around the world.

“Receiving an invitation to perform at the PASIC convention is a tremendous honor that brings prestige to any percussion program because the ensembles that perform at the convention are seen as some of the best in the percussion field,” Herring said.

Three university percussion ensembles are selected each year through a blind CD submission process. The recordings that are submitted for this competition have to be live, unedited recordings.

“Performing percussion chamber music, especially music of the difficulty level of these works, is much more challenging without a conductor,” Herring said. “It requires that each player be more intimately familiar with the other ensemble members' parts, and requires them to start and stop sections and movements of the work together.”

Some percussionists specialize in specific instruments, such as the drum set, jazz vibraphone or marimba, but most try to become proficient in all of them.

Allison Schweickert of Columbia, a rising sophomore and Percussion Ensemble member, called it a huge honor to be selected to perform at the convention.

“I know that representing the University of South Carolina is a big responsibility, but I am confident that the Percussion Ensemble will be able to represent the university in the best way possible,” Schweickert said.

Fellow Ensemble member Kelly Grill agreed.

 “It's a very rare opportunity to perform on one of the biggest and most prestigious stages in the ensemble music world. It's on par with winning the lottery, honestly,” said Grill, a Doctoral of Musical Arts student from Plymouth, Minn.

The USC group will perform at a concert in November at the 2012 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Austin, Texas.

Posted: 07/03/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 07/16/12 @ 8:14 AM | Permalink

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