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Percussion Ensembles

West African Music Ensemble

Director: Sowah Mensah 
Non-auditioned ensemble. Hands-on experience in learning to play West African music, one of the great non-western musical traditions that is readily accessible to beginners. Also, insights into function, context, structure, gender roles, politics, instruments, life-cycle rites, genres, musical organizations, traditional musicians, and contemporary popular music. This course is led by Master Drummer Sowah Mensah from Ghana, West Africa, and is open to all students - no musical background needed! Members will have the opportunity to play drums, xylophone, and sing. Register for MUS 5494

West African Music Ensemble meeting time: T 3:35 PM – 5:05 PM 

Javanese Gamelan Music Ensemble

Spring '21 semester course.

Director: Joko Sutrisno 
Non-auditioned ensemble. Hands-on experience in learning to play Javanese gamelan music offered every spring, one of the great non-western music-making traditions that is readily accessible to beginners. Join internationally renowned Joko Sutrisno as he related insights into the role of this tradition in Indonesian culture. Open to all students, no musical background needed, and no audition required. Register for MUS 5490-002 "Percussion Ensemble".
Meeting schedules to be announced.  

Percussion Ensemble

Director: Fernando Meza
Audition Required. The Percussion Ensemble (MUS 5490-001) is dedicated to exposing students to repertoire written for percussion instruments from the 20th century to today. Its purpose is to offer a forum for the preparation and performance of newly written works, for the discussion and application of contemporary techniques in the percussion arena, and for the development of creative and critical-thinking skills in dealing with issues of multiple-percussion set-ups, mallet and instrument choices, and other issues associated with ensembles that are comprised of percussion instruments.

The Percussion Ensemble aims to enhance the students’ understanding of technical possibilities on standard and less common percussion instruments; to provide a creative outlet for composition and improvisation, as well as a vehicle for the discovery of musical and cultural elements through the exploration of music from various countries; and to enhance the students’ understanding of the creative voices in today’s compositional arena.

The ensemble is open to percussion majors and non-majors. Contact Professor Fernando Meza at mezax001@umn.edu to arrange an audition.

Steel Pan Ensemble 

This class will not be offered in Fall 2020.

Hands-on experience in learning to play in a steel pan percussion ensemble. No audition or experience is required.