Concert Preview: Percussion Ensemble Halloween Concert

Emily Chudzik, News Editor

On Friday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, Oct. 25 at 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm, the Millikin Percussion Ensembles will be performing their Halloween concert in the haunted Albert Taylor Theater.

“It’s a whole show; it’s not just us playing. We have a video for the audience to watch, a light show to go along with us playing, and we’re all going to be in costumes,” said Andre Kely, sophomore commercial music major and member of Percussion I. “There will also be a costume contest for the audience members,” Kely said.

“My favorite part is getting to play challenging music outside of Wind Ensemble with just the percussionists,” said Justin Debo, freshman music business major and Percussion I member. “For the Halloween concert, we’re playing a piece called ‘Black Page.’ It should be really cool. There’s a drum set solo throughout the entire thing,” Debo said.

Both percussion ensembles help students improve their skills as a musician and as a group member. Percussion I and Percussion II both practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the percussion house.

“Being a part of a team where everyone has to do their part and learn their music to ensure the success of the group is a very important lesson to learn. It challenges all of us to be better musicians and performers. I’ve also grown as an individual just by being around Dr. Brunk and all the other guys and girls in the studio. Being a percussionist at Millikin was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” senior Conner Kerrigan said.

“Being in percussion ensemble has expanded my knowledge of different percussive instruments I don’t play as often as others. It also expanded my interests in percussion pieces,” Kely said.

The percussion family includes a diversity of instruments, such as the timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle and even the piano. This applies to pieces written for percussion. “Being a percussionist allows for performing such a wide spectrum of repertoire. For this Halloween concert, we have a piece by Frank Zappa, who is an extremely well respected composer, as well as a piece played completely on coffee cups. That range of performance doesn’t exist with any other instrument,” Kerrigan said.

“There are so many different things you can do with percussion. It’s a broad instrument. It’s very unique and kind of weird; there are things you don’t normally hear out of an ensemble,” Kely said.

The Percussion Halloween Concert is unlike any other concert at Millikin. “The Halloween concert is the most fun concert at Millikin. It’s a time when the entire percussion studio gets to let loose and have a good time while playing some awesome music,” Kerrigan said.

Debo said, “I think it’s something a lot of people can enjoy. People tend to enjoy these songs more than the slow, pretty songs that larger ensembles play.”

“People should come to the concert because it’s going to be really fun. We’re playing some really cool music, and it’s an experience not many people get,” Kely said.

Kerrigan said, “It’s not just a concert; it’s an experience.”