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Percussion Ensembles

Percussion Ensemble

The GRAMMY-nominated University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble has commissioned, performed, and recorded works from a global array of musical cultures. Many of the compositions it has premiered have gone on to enter the standard percussion canon. The ensemble has toured Internationally including successful tours of Japan and Taiwan where it performed with marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe and participated in a televised concert with the famed traditional-music group, Pro Musica Nipponia. The ensemble has also been a featured ensemble at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), the American Orff-Schulwerk Association International Convention, and has performed in Merkin Hall, NYC. Closer to its Michigan home, the group has often performed as part of the Michigan Music Conference, the Thunder Bay Arts Council’s Artist Series, the Holland Festival as well as a recent "In the Shop" webcast/concert from the factory floor of Black Swamp Percussion.

The percussion ensemble has several recordings to its credit, including Border Crossing, Imaginary Landscape, Coyote Dreams, and Transmutations and Metamorphoses, all available on the Equilibrium label. The ensemble's newest CD entitled, Locally Grown, features works by Michigan percussion and composition program alumni, including David Hollinden, Gabriela Frank, Anthony DiSanza, Kristen Kuster, and Erik Santos.

World Percussion Ensemble

The University of Michigan World Percussion Ensemble operates on a unique rotation of content allowing students to experience a spectrum of global styles and rhythmic systems during their undergraduate or graduate residency. The current rotation includes Afro-Cuban Popular Styles, Caribbean Steel Band and West African Styles. The World Percussion Ensemble combines larger, group settings as well as smaller, more intimate "labs" into a true hands-on experience. Guest Artist master classes are also an integral part of the World Percussion Ensemble. Please see our guest artist page to view a listing of some of our past world percussion guests.

Brazilian Ensemble - Vencedores

The University of Michigan Brazilian Ensemble, Vencedores, is a high-energy Brazilian samba batteria. Vencedores means “Victors” in Portuguese. The student-run organization is sponsored by the percussion program. Vencedores has performed benefits for Habitat for Humanity and the U-M Hospital and appeared on the radio show Radio Free Bacon, in the Kerrytown Market & Shops Concerts in the Courtyard, at the 2012 University of Michigan Spring Commencement at Michigan Stadium, and most recently at the 2013 Earth Day celebration at the Leslie Science Center. The ensemble is also in its second year of presenting a major showcase performance at the Necto nightclub in downtown Ann Arbor in celebration of Fat Tuesday.

Past Percussion Ensemble Repertoire


Timber - Michael Gordon

Six Marimbas - Steve Reich

Jose beFORe JOHN5 - Aurel Hollo

Apocryphal Dances - David Gordon *MICHIGAN PREMIERE*

Fantasy Variations - Michael Colgrass

Coyote Builds North America - John Luther Adams

Feast or Famine - Roshanne Etezady

Karakurenai - Andy Akiho

Austerity Measures - Nicholas Papador *MIDWEST PREMIERE*

Coming Home - Steve Gisby

Music for Pieces of Wood - Steve Reich

Cheating, Lying, Stealing - David Lang

Once Removed - John Fitz-Rogers

Continuum - Gyorgi Ligeti

Quartet Fur Vier Schlagzeuger - Alfred Schnittke

March for Two Pairs of Kettledrums - Jacques Danican Philador

Pele - Kevin Good

Sun - Baljinder Sekhon

A Hudson Cycle - Nico Muhly


Partita, "Homage a Rameau" - Germaine Taillefere

Improvisation I sur Mallarme - Pierre Boulez

Improvisation II sur Mallarme - Pierre Boulez

Pulau Dewata - Claude Vivier

Rain-Tree - Toru Takemitsu

Suite for Percussion - Lou Harrison

Zig-Zag - Per Norgard

The Persistence of Past Chemistries - Charles Griffin

Ektal - Akira Nishimura

Gending Bali - Richard Kvistad

Continuum - John Pennington

Marubatoo - John Wyre

Nordic Peace - Tobias Brostrom

African Welcome Piece - Michael Udow

Mudra - Bob Becker

After Monet's Manneport - Samuel Peruzzolo

Trio per Uno - Nebosja Zivkovic

Voice of the Sun - Akira Nishimura

Ritual Music - David Skidmore

Omphalo Centric Lecture - Nigel Westlake

Topsy Turvy - Michael Udow

Exploration of Time - Ekhard Kopetski


Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra - Lou Harrison

Ohko - Iannis Xenakis


Splendid Wood - Jennifer Higdon

Caprichios Enfaticos - Martin Bresnick

Cold Pastoral - Ryan Streber

Hook - Graham Fitkin

Kyoto - John Psathas

Babybot - Andrea Mazzariello

The Furious Angels - Jeffrey Peyton

Qilyaun - John Luther Adams

Toccata - Carlos Chavez

Ionisation - Edgard Varese

Pulse - Henry Cowell

Canticle no. 1 - Lou Harrison

DNA - Joan Tower

From My Little Island - Robert Aldridge (Arr. John Parks & Justin Alexander)

A Forest of Hands - John Ericksson

Tinplay - Per Andreasson

Trio - Joseph Tompkins

Escape Velocity - Dave Hall

Speak Gently - Luigi Zaninelli

Sleep - Eric Whitacre

Bonham - Christopher Rouse

Danzas Argentinas - Alberto Ginastera (Arr. J. Gramley)

The Loneliness of Santa Claus - Fredrik Andersson

Timbrack Quartet - Michael Udow

Coba - Glen Velez

Preta Porter de Tafeta - Joao Bosco (Arr. Jonathan Ovalle)

Stone Flower - Antonio Carlos Jobim (Arr. Benjy Krauss)

Release - Dave Hollinden

Ogoun Badagris - Christopher Rouse

...And Bells Remembered - John Luther Adams

The Sharpened Stick - Brett Dietz

Cesi N'est Pas Un Jouet - Gene Koshinski

Septet - Dwayne Rice

Apple Blossom - Peter Garland

Crystal Canon - James Tenney

Double Music - Lou Harrison/ John Cage


First Construction - John Cage

Second Construction - John Cage

Third Construction - John Cage

Pattern Transformation - Lukas Ligeti

The Whole Toy Laid Down - Dave Hollinden

Immersion - Dave Hollinden **WORLD PREMIERE**

Vesper Trains - Marc LeMay

Sridulations For The Good Luck Feast: I,II,III - Billy Martin

Orbit Design - Derek Bermel

Whispers - David Skidmore

Postludes - Elliot Cole

Quartet - John Cage

Dance Music from Elfrid Ide - John Cage

Amores - John Cage

Trio - John Cage

Quartet for tom toms, from She is Asleep - John Cage

Credo in Us - John Cage

A Ceiling Full of Stars - Blake Tyson

Memphis Stomp - Dave Grusin (Arr. Dave Steinquest)

Higuita - Steven Whibley

Mercury from The Planets - Gustav Holst (Arr. James Ancona)

Skylark Orange Circles - Gordon Stout

Platinum - Dave Hollinden

In Time to Come - Dave Hollinden

Quartet no. 2 - Dave Hollinden

Kpanlogo - Traditional (Arr. Lobi/Naranjo)

Variations on a Ghanian Theme - Daniel Levitan

Akadinda Trio - Emmanuel Sejourne

Cinquante Six - Ali Farka Toure (Arr. Dan Piccolo)

Mbira - David Hahn

Jong Kplek Kple - Trad. (Arr. Lobi/Naranjo)

Konnakkol Compositions in Adi-Tala - Trad. (Arr. Dan Piccolo)

Beginning Tabla Compositions - Trad. (Arr. Dan Piccolo)

Intermed. Tabla Compositions - Trad. (Arr. P. Felsman, D. Piccolo and J. Taylor)

Piru Bole - John Bergamo

Jugalbandi - Dan Piccolo

Sol Tunnels - Glen Velez

Palta - Bob Becker


Cantata Para America Magica op. 27 - Alberto Ginastera

Threads- Paul Lansky

Angels - Stuart Saunders Smith

Mallet Quartet - Steve Reich

Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ - Steve Reich

Third Construction - John Cage

Music in Similar Motion - Phillip Glass

Dust into Dust - John Luther Adams

Muybridge Cycles - Daniel Koontz

Drawings Set #1 - Sydney Hodkinson

Drawings Set #4 - Sydney Hodkinson

Drawings Set #3 - Sydney Hodkinson

Night Moves - Sydney Hodkinson

Drawings Set #9 - Sydney Hodkinson

Nagoya Marimbas - Steve Reich

Clapping Music - Steve Reich

Clapping Music Variations- Glen Kotche/ Steve Reich

Suite for Solo Drum Set and Percussion Ensemble - David Mancini

One Notch Higher - Bill Molenhof

Square Corners - Dave Samuels

Common Bonds - Jonathan Ovalle

The Heat of the Day - Pat Metheny (Arr. Jonathan Ovalle)

Concerto for Darrabuka and Percussion Ensemble - Anthony DiSanza

Mudra - Bob Becker

Gryo - Tomer Yariv

Concerto for Timpani - Ney Rosauro

Shadowchasers - Michael Burritt

Music for Pieces of Wood (for drums) - Steve Reich/Arr. David Cossin

Part I from Drumming - Steve Reich

Piano Phase - Steve Reich

Apple Blossom - Peter Garland

Sculpture in Wood - Rudiger Pawassar


Estudios de Frontera - Alejandro Vinao

Six Marimbas - Steve Reich

Parade "Xuan" - Guo Wenjing

les moutons de panurge - Frederic Rzewski

For Zero - Kojiro Umezaki **WORLD PREMIERE**

Pendulum Music - Steve Reich

Moto Perpetuo for Viola and Perc. Ens. - Braxton Blake **U.S. PREMIERE**

Continuum - Gyorgy Ligeti

IV, (Version 1.0) - Johanna Magdalena Beyer

PTA - Dan Piccolo **WORLD PREMIERE**

Trio Per Uno - Nebosja Jovan Zivkovic

States Medley - Bob Becker

Pukul Wainui - Gareth Farr **WORLD PREMIERE**

K'in Sventa Ch'ul Me'tik Kwadalupe - Osvaldo Golijov (Arr. Joseph Gramley)

Sky Ghost - Russell Hartenberger

Voice of the Sun - Akira Nishimura




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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower