The CU Percussion Ensembles celebrate percussion in many ways, exploring the great works of the repertoire: Ionisation by Varèse, Chavez’s Toccata, Cage’s Amores and Constructions, Lou Harrisons Suite, and October Mountain by Hovhaness, among others. Works by the sophisticated groove master Dan Levitan are featured on almost every concert. Since this is chamber music, pieces range in size from duos to large conducted works.
The ensembles also improvise in jazz and free styles. A recent hit was Music for Percussion Quartet & 3 Jazz Players, Latin-Jazz works by Roland Vasquez. Many CU percussion students play jazz and the percussion ensembles provide them an opportunity to develop their improvisation skills.
Interpretation and depth of expression is stressed in Marimba Ensemble, which performs commissioned works, transcriptions from the masters, and Mexican and Guatemalan traditional works and improvisations.
Students are featured as soloists in every concert–playing solos, concertos, and works they have written.