Monday, October 06, 2008

“Sheer Rhythmic Joy” Comes to Arcata

“In my opinion they are the best professional percussion ensemble in the world today,” said Dr. Eugene Novotney, Director of Percussion Studies at HSU and founder of the Humboldt State Calypso Band. “They are all virtuosos in their own right, and together they represent a virtual super-group of talent and musicianship.”

Novotney is hardly alone in his enthusiasm for Percussion Group Cincinnati, making its first northern California concert appearance in its nearly 30-year history, at the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus on Monday, October 6.

“Impossible to over-praise” (said the New York Times), these “master musicians” (as the New Yorker magazine called them) of Percussion Group Cincinnati present “a performance of remarkable intensity” (Washington Post.) Newspapers in other cities lauded them as “strange and wonderful,” “innovative,” “a visual and aural treat" and "sheer rhythmic joy.”

“Showcasing classic and experimental concert music from America, Chile, South Africa and China, their dynamic palette consists of marimbas, drums, gongs, prepared piano, a computer, a deck of cards and more,” writes composer Tamara Turner in CD Baby, an independent music publication. “There is no question that one of PGC's trademarks, whether intentional or not, is about thinking outside the box.”

Percussion Group Cincinnati was founded in 1979 and consists of members Allen Otte, James Culley, and Russell Burge, all of whom are faculty members and ensemble-in-residence at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati.

Their international tours have included appearances in major cities, festivals and concert halls in America, Europe and Asia. But they’ve also presented their program "Music From Scratch" to hundreds of thousands of children across North America.

Their daily rehearsal schedule is supplemented with the teaching and coaching of young musicians, many of whom have gone on to professional careers in creative music, in teaching, and with major symphony orchestras.

One of those students happens to be Eugene Novotney.

The internationally acclaimed Percussion Group Cincinnati comes to Arcata for its first-ever Northern California concert on Monday, October 6, 2008 at 8pm in Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus. Tickets are $10 general; $5 students/seniors from the HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door. This is a Guest Artists concert sponsored by the HSU Department of Music.

Media: Arcata Eye.

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