Solo Education Concert

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Solo Educational Concerts
NEXUS educational concerts for young people are normally one-hour programs narrated by members of NEXUS with demonstrations of percussion instruments. Recent concerts have been entitled, “People Places and Percussion,” (Carnegie Hall) and “Music for Drums & Things” (sponsored by Chicago Symphony – see below).

Sample Program – “Music For Drums & Things”

Music from Wood

1) MUSIC FOR PIECES OF WOOD (1973) by Steve Reich (b.1936)
Each member of NEXUS plays with two pieces of wood called, “claves” (clah-vays). In what ways does the music always sound the same? In what ways is the music always changing?

2) THE RAGTIME ROBIN (1927) by G.H.Green/arranged by Bob Becker
Bob plays very fast on the 49 wooden bars of his xylophone. Bill, Robin, Russell, and Garry play on their two marimbas, which also have wooden bars. Can you hear a melody? In the 1920s people liked to dance to this kind of music. Does the music make you want to dance too?

Music from Metal

3) REMEMBRANCE (1988) by Robin Engelman (b.1937)
Everybody in NEXUS has a table full of percussion instruments. Bob and Russell play on Pakistani bells and Japanese metal plates called, “chang chikis” (chang chee-kees). Bill plays on wood blocks, and Garry plays the “darabuka” (middle-eastern drum). Robin mostly plays the big Swiss cowbells, but listen carefully for the “roaring” sound of the string-drum! How does the music make you feel? What words can you use to describe this music?

Music from Our Bodies

4) THE STORM, created by Nexus and the Audience
NEXUS will show you how to make the sounds of wind, thunder, lightning and rain.
Music from Things

5) THE BIRDS (1980) by Bill Cahn (b.1946)
In this music you will hear almost 100 different bird sounds made by NEXUS. The five players are using bird-callers which they have collected from around the world. Do you hear any bird sounds you recognize? Can you imagine how these birds look? What other sounds do you hear?

Music from Drums

FRA FRA – Traditional drumming from Ghana/arranged by Nexus
Russell plays the master African drum called a “donno”. Everyone else in NEXUS listens to what his “talking drum” is saying, and then they follow his music, just as musicians do in west Africa. After Bill plays a solo on the “panpipes”, the music becomes even more excited until the master drum tells everyone to end. Can you hear the donno “talking” to the other drums?

DOTTY DIMPLES (1919) by G.H.Green/arr. Bill Cahn

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