Percussion Month Enlivens Winter

Feb. 5, 2014—For many, winter may be a time for quiet reflection. But this winter will be anything but quiet on the University of Oregon campus, as the UO School of Music and Dance sponsors “Percussion Month” from late February through mid-March. The series of events will feature rare opportunities to see world-renowned percussion masters in concert, coupled with unique educational opportunities that are open to the public.

In three separate residencies, the UO will welcome award-winning marimbist Eriko Daimo; timpanist Don Liuzzi with the DePue Brothers Band; and premier percussionist Mark Ford.

“We’re honored to welcome such high-caliber guests to take part in Percussion Month,” said Pius Cheung, UO assistant professor of percussion. “Hosting these artists on campus is not only beneficial for our students, it’s also a great bonus for Eugene percussion fans.”

Patrons can enjoy all six Percussion Month events as a series, or can sample events individually. Tickets for the Feb. 24 and March 11 paid admission event are available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office, 541-346-4363.

The complete Percussion Month schedule is listed below, along with biographical information for each of the three residencies.

Eriko Daimo, Marimba

  • In concert: Monday, Feb. 24, 8 p.m., Beall Concert Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building. $10 general admission, $8 students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office, 541-346-4363.
  • Master class: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 6 p.m., Aasen-Hull Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building. Free admission.

Award-winning marimbist Eriko Daimo is a driving force in today's generation of young artists. She has won top prizes in numerous competitions, including first prizes at the International Marimba Competition 2004 in Belgium, Japan International League of Artists Competition, Japan PAS 20th Annual Percussion Solo Competition 2004, and Japan Soloist Music Competition. In addition, Daimo has given concerto performances, recital tours, and master classes with prestigious festivals and symphony orchestras the world over.

Don Liuzzi and the DePue Brothers Band

  • Master class: Tuesday, March 4, 6 p.m., Aasen-Hull Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building. Free admission.
  • Percussion workshop: Tuesday, March 4, 8 p.m., Aasen-Hull Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building. Free admission.

Don Liuzzi, principal timpanist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, has been a percussionist with the Network for New Music and has recorded contemporary chamber works for the CRI, Crystal, and Albany labels. Before joining the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1989, Liuzzi was a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony percussion section from 1982 to 1989. While in Pittsburgh he taught percussion and conducted the percussion ensemble at Duquesne University.

Each of the four violinist DePue Brothers is a classical virtuoso in his own right, and brings rich and diverse talents to their sound. As an ensemble, the DePues encompass a vivid blend of bluegrass, classical, and rock genres, and have been making music together for over 25 years. They were named "Musical Family of America" in 1989 by presidential decree, were the subject of a nationally televised PBS documentary in 1993, and two brothers (Jason and Zach) were featured in the film documentary Music From the Inside Out in 2005.

Mark Ford, Percussion

  • In concert: Tuesday, March 11, 8 p.m., Beall Concert Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building. $10 general admission, $8 students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office, 541-346-4363.
  • Master class: Wednesday, March 12, 6 p.m., Aasen-Hull Hall, Frohnmayer Music Building. Free admission.

Mark Ford is the coordinator of percussion activities at the University of North Texas in Denton, and a Past-President of the Percussive Arts Society. He is a marimba specialist and the coordinator of one of the largest percussion programs in the United States at UNT. Ford is an active performer on the marimba and he has been featured throughout the United States at universities and music conferences. He also regularly performs at International Music Festivals in South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. With several marimba and percussion CDs to his credit, Mark’s recordings have further established his dedication to excellence in music. Ford has written several popular works for solo marimba and percussion ensemble, and has been recognized as a leading percussion educator.

Photo by Gian Andrea di Stefano.