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Steel band, percussion ensemble join forces


The JSU Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band came together for a magnificent performance this past Nov. 6, 2012 in Mason Hall. The Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band were under the Direction of Thomas McCutchen.

There were eleven songs played by the Ensemble and Steel Band. The songs included the Escape Velocity, Away without Leave, The Army 2/4, Duke’s Lullaby, Crazy Army, I Ching, Pyxis, Under the Mango Tree, Spin Cycle, Down with it, and Trini Yellowtail.

The performance opened up with a song including the Xylophone, Snare, Bass and Quad Drum. The audience watched anxiously as the groups set up for their performance.

The music was entertaining and unique. Each simple stroke of the drum spoke volumes. There were many bells and cymbals used in each song. They showed the strength of the cow bells and chimes during the break down of the song.

During the first set of songs there were four xylophone players and five drummers. Two players varied between the bass and snare drum. During one section of the song each snare drummer gave a solo.

The Army 2/4 sounded like a caddice. It was very up tempo and the tempo was kept by the bass drum. The last song played by the Percussion included all the instruments and showed the variety and diversity in the group. The middle of the song had a falsetto part which allowed the xylophones to stand out and ended the softly played section with the stroke of the chimes. A powerful crescendo followed and it really showed the strength of the ensemble. The transition into this powerful part was smooth and polished.

The Ensemble took the audience for a journey in each song. There were calm moments that escalated effortlessly into a powerful finish.

There was a small intermission between the transitions from the Percussion Ensemble to the Steel Band.

The Steel Band was very festive. The colorful shirts brought a cheerful mood to the entertained audience.

The Steel Band really set the mood for the night. The bass guitar was very subtle but bold at the same time. It stood out and the solo was wonderful.

“Tonight was great and Dr. McCuchen has done a great job with the percussion and steel drum band," stated Dr. Gregg, Professor in the Geology department.

The Steel Band really created a relaxing atmosphere that made one just sway to the music. The rhythm of the music took the audience on a Carribean adventure.

The tempo was consistent and the players put themselves in their music.

The vibe and the atmosphere that was created shows the strong point of the band.

"The Steel Drum and the last number had a traditional Trinidadian feel to it. It really made me want to get up and start a conga line," stated Dr. Gregg.

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