The GVSU percussion program is limited to ten percussion majors and minors. With seven large instrumental ensembles and many smaller ones, performance is a major focus of all students in the Department of Music. The percussion student may perform in the University Percussion Ensemble, Steelband, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, GVSU Marching Band, University Orchestra, Studio Jazz Orchestra, or one of many chamber groups.
Individual instruction is based upon a firm musical and technical foundation and is geared to each percussionist's needs and interests, in preparation for the specialized fields of the percussive arts.
GVSU's percussion program is devoted to meeting the varied demands of today's percussionists, from traditional orchestral playing to the most innovative contemporary techniques of chamber performance.
University Percussion Ensemble
The Percussion Ensemble provides percussionists with the opportunity to learn techniques and literature through rehearsal and performance in a chamber setting. The literature is selected from the best available compositions for percussion. The ensemble performs both with and without a conductor. Recent concerts have included such works as: John Cage, Credo in US, The Wonderful Widow of 18 Springs, and Cage and Lou Harrison's Double Music; Christopher Rouse, Ku-Ka-Illimoku and Ogoun Badagris; Minoru Miki, Marimba Spiritual; and Thom Hasenpflug, Bicksa.
The GVSU Steelband was formed in January 1997. The group performs in the tradition of the great steelbands of Trinidad but also plays arrangements of soca, calypso, and Latin/jazz tunes, as well as original compositions for this instrumentation. The band performs on campus during the year and there are many opportunities for off-campus and special performances.
Our newly-rebuilt university percussion facilities are superb. They include a large studio for Percussion Ensemble and Steelband rehearsals, and individual lessons. Two additional, dedicated percussion practice studios house a 4.6 octave Marimba One, a 4.3 octave Yamaha marimba, two vibraphones, two xylophones, two sets of timpani, our steel drums, and many more instruments, which offer the percussion student a favorable student-to-instrument/practice studio ratio.
Page last modified October 22, 2010