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Shepherd’s Department of Music to present percussion and drumming festival

By Staff | Oct 19, 2012

The Shepherd University Department of Music will present a percussion and drumming festival on Saturday, Oct. 27 from noon to 3 p.m. in the Frank Center. Educational and entertaining clinics, as well as performances for drum and percussion students, teachers and enthusiasts will be sponsored by Shepherd’s Department of Music with support from Yamaha and Vic Firth. The event is free and open to the public.

Big band drummer Marty Knepp will discuss his Musical Interactive Listening system, taking individuals beyond the technical aspects of drumming to explore the nuances of the musical conversation from the drummer’s perspective. Rebecca Kite will present the clinic “Music in 3D,” which will show the uses of phrasing, timbre and voicing to give marimba performances interest and depth. Topics will include physical gestures, subtle crescendos and decrescendos, small timing changes, playing areas of the marimba bar and the angle of the mallet as it strikes the bar. The Shepherd Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Michelle Humphreys, will present a performance featuring works by Kai Stensgaard, Steve Reich, Chris Hardy and Dave Mancini. An informal reception and chat session with the clinicians will follow.

Knepp, of Crofton, Md., studied at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and discovered influences such as Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Andy Narrell, Buddy Rich and Jack Dejohnette. Knepp has played with guitarist Larry Carlton and has introduced new music to the band, primarily jazz and Latin-infused charts. He is recognized as one of the finest jazz and Latin drummers in the region.

Kite is an internationally recognized marimba soloist and teacher. She has performed and presented master classes throughout the U.S., as well as in Europe, Central America, South America and Japan. Kite’s work as a marimba soloist may be heard on her two solo CDs “Across Time and Prism.” As an educator, she authored the method book “Reading Mallet Percussion Music,” and edited “The Anthology of Lute and Guitar Music for Marimba.” Her most recent book “Keiko Abe: A Virtuosic Life-Her Musical Career and the Evolution of the Concert Marimba,” undertaken with Abe’s permission and assistance, required six years to research and write.

Humphreys teaches percussion at Shepherd, directs the Shepherd Percussion Ensemble and teaches percussion techniques courses. She has performed as a classical percussionist, world music instrumentalist, and drummer. Humphreys is principal percussionist with the Baltimore Opera Company, Opera Lafayette and Opera Vivente. She has performed with the American Opera Theater, Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Philharmonic, Ars Antiqua (Chappaqua, N.Y.) and Foundling (R.I.). Humphreys serves as president of the Maryland Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) and directs the annual PAS Day of Percussion, an event which features clinicians and performers from around the world, and attracts more than 250 professional and amateur percussionists each year. She earned her bachelor of music degree from Towson University, where she won the Peggy and Yale Gordon Concerto Competition, and holds a master of music degree in percussion performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music. Humphreys recently completed her doctor of musical arts degree in performance at the University of Maryland College Park.

For more information about Shepherd’s Percussion and Drumming Festival, contact Humphreys at 410-960-2771 or michelle@percussionpro.com.