Countrywide Percussion Festival Comes to UCA

Prominent percussion educators and performers from around the country will be on campus to celebrate percussion at the 2014 UCA Percussion Festival on March 1.

The festival features percussionists such as Jim Casella, Gwen Burgett, Justin Alexander, and UCAs own professor of percussion, Blake Tyson. All of the percussionists will give master classes and will play together, along with the UCA percussion ensemble, at the end for a final concert.

Tyson discussed why the different artists were invited up and how they were able to organize the event.

“From the beginning, the UCA Percussion Festival has sought to bring the world’s greatest percussion educators and performers to the university,” he said. “The UCA Percussion Club and I worked together to select a large pool of possible guest artists that meet a high standard of excellence. After many emails, phone calls and negotiation, the puzzle starts to come together.”

The event will begin with performances from high school percussion ensembles taught by UCA Alumni. The Lakeside High School percussion ensemble and the Farmington High School percussion ensemble will get the festivities going.

Treasurer of the UCA Percussion Club, sophomore music education major Gunner Bartlett, spoke on where the support for this event comes from.

“We receive most of our support from the Student Government Association and the Student Activities Fee Allocation process,” he said. “There is a collaborative effort to bring in guest artists from across the nation to spread their knowledge on percussive instruments.”

Tyson gave insight on who this Percussion Festival is really for.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student, or just starting out on the snare drum, or have been a band director for decades,” he said. “Everyone will find the UCA Percussion Festival to be inspirational.”

For more details on the UCA Percussion Festival, feel free to check out their Facebook page that has a schedule, information about door prizes and more.

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