Calypso Band, Percussion Ensemble & World Percussion Group

Please join the Humboldt State University Department of Music, the HSU Calypso Band, the HSU Percussion Ensemble, and the HSU World Percussion Group as they present traditional and contemporary music for percussion ensemble; the exciting rhythms of the Ewe tradition of Ghana, West Africa; and the festive steel drum sounds of the Calypso tradition of the Caribbean on Saturday, December 1st at 8:00 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall.  Under the direction of Eugene Novotney and Howard Kaufman, the HSU percussion legacy continues to evolve and to flourish.  Experience the thrills, sights and sounds of all three ensembles for only $10 General, $5 Senior/Child, $5 for HSU students with ID.

The HSU Percussion Ensemble will feature an exciting & diverse program of material presenting the listener with contemporary and experimental compositions, as well as traditional drumming from West Africa. The featured classical work on the program is the dense and complex, Stained Glass, composed by award winning composer, David Gillingham. This piece is scored for a percussion orchestra of 18-players, with the percussionists playing marimbas, vibraphones, xylophones, chimes, bells, timpani, bass drum, tom-toms, cymbals, croatales, piano, and a host of other instruments. The composition is haunting and beautiful, and at other times, rhythmic and dynamic. It is a true masterpiece of the contemporary percussion repertoire, and will leave the audience both fascinated and spellbound with its unique sounds and its powerful  orchestration.

The HSU Percussion Ensemble will also perform a work inspired by Middle-Eastern & East-Indian drumming entitled, Wart Hog #3, written by southern California composer, Austin Wrinkle. This piece features an ensemble of 14-players playing Middle-Eastern ‘frame drums” in interlocking rhythms, and also features an extended section of rhythmic vocalizations based on the Indian “Bol” system. This fascinating piece will open the evening’s concert with impact and style.

The first half of the show will close with an inspiring arrangement of the traditional Ewe drumming style, AGAHU, and it will be presented to the Humboldt audience in its classic form using all indigenous instruments from Ghana, West Africa.

The second half of the show will feature the festive dance music of the Humboldt State Calypso Band, Humboldt State’s own 50-piece steel drum orchestra. One of Humboldt County’s favorite ensembles, the Calypso Band will feature several high-energy compositions from the Caribbean in their set. The Calypso Band prides itself in maintaining an accurate and authentic connection to the roots of the steel band movement and the innovative musicians of Trinidad, the island on which this unique percussion phenomenon was born. The band is dedicated to the performance of traditional and contemporary music from the Caribbean, Africa, Brazil, Cuba and the United States. Through their 32-year history of performances at HSU, the Calypso Band has become a virtual “institution,” and stands as one of the most popular groups on the entire North Coast. In addition to its regular performances at Humboldt State and throughout Northern California, the band has undertaken tours to San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Oakland, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, Eugene, OR and Seattle, WA.