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Percussion Ensemble Incorporates Fire Engine Siren, Car Brake Drums

The University of Maine School of Performing Arts presents the fall Percussion Ensemble concert Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Minsky Recital Hall.

Under the direction of Thomas Martin Wubbenhorst, the ensemble will perform compositions that incorporate unique sounds, including those of an antique fire engine siren and a theremin — an old electronic instrument that is played without touching it.

Stuart Marrs will guest conduct a piece titled ‘Ionisation’ by composer Edgard Varese.

“Additionally, a composition by Lou Harrison titled ‘The Song of Queztecoatl’ calls for car brake drums, temple cup gongs, wind chimes and other unusual instruments,” says Wubbenhorst. “‘Mallet Quartet’ by Steve Reich — one of the important American ‘minimalist’ composers — uses marimbas and vibraphones, and the final piece on the program — ‘Surge’ — is fun and fast from the beginning to the end.”

In addition to European-based compositions, the ensemble performs a variety of world music genres, including salsa, African drumming and Brazilian samba. The group has performed throughout Maine, as well as in southern France and was the first U.S. percussion ensemble to perform in Cuba.

Admission is $9, free with a valid student MaineCard. For tickets, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.581.1755. Tickets may also be purchased at the door one hour prior to the show.

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