‘Percussion Festival’ features free workshop, ensemble concert

SUU Percussion Ensemble, photo date and location note specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Kicking off with a workshop and culminating with a concert, the Southern Utah University music department “Percussion Festival” takes place Saturday at the Thorley Recital Hall in the music building on the SUU campus. Admission to both events is free.

The concert will be given by the SUU Percussion Ensemble, featuring Dr. Lynn Vartan and special guest artist Michael Burritt.

Burritt currently teaches at the esteemed Eastman Conservatory of Music as professor of percussion. He is in high demand as a performer and has played all over the world. Burritt not only performs on the marimba; he has also composed concertos, solo and chamber works for the marimba and percussion.

“Michael and I will be premiering a new piece he wrote for us to perform,” Dr. Lynn Vartan, director of percussion at SUU, said. “The piece, ‘(Sweet Dreams) and Time Machines,’ honors his former dean, Doug Lowry, at the Eastman Conservatory. Doug was also my associate dean and conductor at USC. Doug passed away in 2013 and was an inspiration to both of us.”

Students in the Percussion Ensemble have been working throughout this semester to prepare for this final concert of the year. They will perform their spring repertoire. Michael Burritt will perform a few solo pieces throughout the evening.

The goal of the Percussion Ensemble is to perform historically significant works for percussion, contemporary percussion literature, novelty percussion and traditional non-Western percussion music. The ensemble comprises both music majors and nonmajors and welcomes students with a variety of levels of experience. Several performance opportunities are available to members of the Percussion Ensemble throughout the year.

Event details

  • What: Southern Utah University “Percussion Festival” featuring a workshop and concert with Dr. Lynn Vartan and special guest artist Michael Burritt.
  • When: Saturday, April 15 | Workshop starts at 2 p.m. | SUU Percussin Ensemble concert at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Thorley Recital Hall, Music Building, Southern Utah University, 351 West University Blvd., Cedar City.
  • Cost: Free and open to the public

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