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Gerald Carpenter: Music Academy to Showcase Percussionists, ‘Cabaret’

Wednesday's concert will precede Thursday's fundraiser for the academy's scholarship program

At the Music Academy of the West, there has been a steadily growing, albeit somewhat underground, appreciation of the percussion faculty and fellows. This summer, that appreciation has achieved critical mass, and the Academy Percussion Ensemble will make its Hahn Hall debut with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Steve Reich’s Six Marimbas will be a highlight of the Music Academy Percussion Ensemble's concert Wednesday in Hahn Hall
Steve Reich’s Six Marimbas will be a highlight of the Music Academy Percussion Ensemble’s concert Wednesday in Hahn Hall.

The Academy Percussion Ensemble is composed of Edward Atkatz and Michael Werner of the Music Academy faculty, and academy fellows Kevin Kosnik, Shane Nickels, George Nickson, Christian Slagle and Jonathan Smith.

Versatility goes with the territory for percussionists, and each of the players is skilled on several instruments.

For the program of its inaugural concert, the ensemble will perform Carlos Chávez’s Toccata for Percussion Instruments (1942), Steve Reich’s Six Marimbas (1973), István Márta’s A Doll’s House Story (1985) and the world premiere of Tied to the Past (2010) by Los Angeles Philharmonic principal timpanist Joseph Pereira. He will be on board as guest composer and conductor.

As we should all be aware by now, and thanks largely to the efforts of retiring President NancyBell Coe, the Music Academy provides full scholarships to all its fellows.

There are many ways for academy devotees to support and sustain these scholarships — the simplest being to write a check and send it off, but the most charming and entertaining way is to cough up the $300 to attend the hugely popular “Cabaret” at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort.

The shining Voice Fellows will perform Broadway show tunes and classical favorites under the direction of Marilyn Horne, Warren Jones and the rest of the great voice faculty.

Directing the overall production again this year is the accomplished musical director, composer and songwriter Gerald Sternbach. The show will start at 6 p.m. Thursday.

For tickets and more information about the Music Academy, click here or call 805.969.8787.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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