Concordia College 20th Annual Day of Percussion – Cancelled

The Concordia College 20th Annual Day of Percussion will occur Saturday April 4, 2009 at the Memorial Auditorium. Michael Burritt will be a guest clinician on marimba, Jim Rupp on drum set, and Joko Sutrisno on gamelan.

Dr. David Eyler, Director of Percussion Studies, always does a fantastic job at this annual event. Personally, I have been to 4 of them and the caliber of clinicians as well as the “well oiled” logistic team rival any of the other Days of Percussion that are held across the United States. Dr. Eyler has given talks at the PASIC convention on how to host a Day of Percussion and that experience shows at each event.

At last year’s event, I networked with one of the graduating seniors and have negotiated to obtain an arrangement of one of his pieces.

This year will also be a stunning event, given that Michael Burritt (Thomas Burritt’s cousin) is performing. I had the pleasure to see Michael at PASIC in 2000 perform an incredibly difficult piece called “Escape Velocity 1.4” as part of the New Music/Research Day. Mr. Burritt recently took a new position at the prestigious Eastman School of Music as head of the percussion department after his tenure at Northwestern University.

There are a number of opportunities to ask questions at these events so I will need to think about what my question will be this year. I am currently working on “The Offering” so that is a good option an an accessible piece for college students. I can tell you it will not be a question on “Escape Velocity 1.4”, or “Scirroco”, as those pieces are left to the top eschalon of marimbists.

Having at least one annual Day of Percussion in Minnesota is an excellent way to stay current with all aspects of percussion. I often wonder why there aren’t more semi-professionals and professionals attending these events. The turn out is always well attended from the high school and college students. However, I find myself in the minority at these events. Hopefully this blog is one more way to get the word out on what a great opportunity we have right in our own backyard (well a 3 hour drive anyway).

I am now sorry to report that I received word that this year’s Day of Percussion has been cancelled. The extreme flood conditions have shut down most of the city and the college. The day of percussion has been officially cancelled by an email from Dr. Eyler and will not be rescheduled. Here is hoping we have better weather next year.

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