Program Filled With Variety
Members of the Marshall County Arts Cooperative are hosting another visiting artist this week. Steve Riley, a percussion instructor at Baker University, is spending the week in Marshall County working with students in Axtell, Marysville, and Summerfield.
Riley was brought to the area because several music teachers expressed interest in bringing a percussion expert to work with their students.
“This is the first time we’ve brought a percussionist to our area,” said Wayne Kruse, the arts cooperative’s executive director. “Since the teachers told us there was a demand for this type of artist, we were happy to meet their requests. We’re looking forward to this new experience.”
In addition to his work with students, Riley will give a concert on Thursday, April 12, at 7:00 p.m. at the Lee Dam Center for Fine Art. The concert is free.
Divided into two parts, the first part of the concert features Riley performing two original percussion works: a timpani solo called “A Delivering” and a multiple percussion solo entitled “Collinear Dancer.” Additionally, Riley will perform with the Marysville High School percussion ensemble. The ensemble will back up Riley, performing solo xylophone, on a piece called “Danielle’s Cha Cha” by Lalo Davila. Riley and the ensemble will also perform a composition using buckets called “Throwdown.”
According to Tobias Wood, band instructor at Marysville High School, the students are enjoying rehearsing for “Throwdown.” In order to perform the piece, they relied on the assistance of Alex Shultz, owner of Astro 3 Theater.
“Alex donated metal buckets for one of the percussion ensemble pieces,” Wood explained. “The kids enjoy making all that controlled noise.”
The second half of the concert features Riley playing some of his original rock-pop music from his CD, “Through Cells.” During this part of the concert, Riley will play the keyboard and guitar. “I will also perform a few cover songs,” Riley said.
Several of Wood’s Popular Music Lab musicians will back a few of Riley’s rock charts. “They pick that stuff up quickly,” Wood said.
Leaders of the arts cooperative are excited that students are able to perform with the artist. “This is an added bonus,” said Kruse. “It’s great that the students have the opportunity to collaborate with an artist. This is the perfect way for the students to showcase all that they’ve learned from Mr. Riley throughout the week.”
Wood agrees, and is glad that his students have the opportunity to learn from and work with a highly-skilled musician. Wood has been collaborating with Riley for the past month in preparation for the residency.
“Steve seems to be a high-energy guy, but then I don’t know very many low-energy percussionists,” Wood said.
For more information about the concert people can contact Kruse at 785-713-2077.