Percussion Ensembles

Oregon Percussion Ensemble

Pius Cheung, director

The Oregon Percussion Ensemble is a consortium of percussionists specializing in the performance of modern classical percussion chamber music. In 1996 The Oregon Percussion Ensemble and Charles Dowd were nominated for the Laurel Leaf Award of the American Composers Alliance in New York City for distinguished achievement in fostering and encouraging American music.

Founded in 1974, the group is known for its performances of the music of Frank Zappa, John Cage, Lou Harrison, Edgard Varése, Steve Reich, Iannis Xenakis, Edison Denisov, Meyer Kupferman, and for premieres of cutting edge, avant-garde composers. Broadcast performances include WGBH Boston's The Art of the States, heard in 40 countries, and an NPR national broadcast of a Dowd composition for Gamelan Suranadi Sari Indra Putra. Past performances include Percussive Arts Society International Conventions in Los Angeles and San Jose (by competitive audition); a 1992 John Cage memoriam; a 1992 Lou Harrison 75th birthday tribute in Portland; Seattle and Portland Percussion Festivals; and the 1984 International Society for Music Education at Silva Hall.

The group has had touring performances in Palo Alto, San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boise, Spokane, Seattle, Ellensburg, Portland, and throughout the Northwest. All members of the ensemble are graduate or undergraduate percussionists majoring in music at the University of Oregon. Ensemble alumni hold graduate degrees from Juilliard, Eastman, Peabody, New England Conservatory, Manhattan, and USC, and perform in opera houses and recording studios in the United States, Canada, and Europe.