This weekend, I will be playing alongside some all-star percussionists from the Greater Philadelphia area on the Brandywine Valley Chorale's production of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana!
The BVC is combining forces with the Lehigh Valley Choir, so the choir is going to be huge, which makes up for the fact that we are doing the condensed version with two pianos instead of full orchestra. The percussion section consists of Philly big-hitters such as Dave Nelson, Tom Blanchard, Zach Crystal, and Matt Grady. It will be an honor to play with those fine percussionists, as well as a fellow West Chester University percussionist, Connor Nixdorf.
The interesting thing about this performance of Carmina is that there are TWO other performances of the piece happening in the area on the same weekend!! Carmina Burana is a large-scale work by Carl Orff about the fickleness of fortune and wealth, the ephemeral nature of life, and the joy of the return of Spring. I guess this long, harsh, winter has led the music directors to celebrate!
My setup for Carmina is fairly simple. I am playing mostly Snare Drum, and everything I play is pretty similar and at a moderate volume, so I'm sticking with my Pearl 5" Maple Symphonic drum. We're borrowing the Tam Tam from Unionville High School (on an enormous marching band-ready stand!), and an extra Glock for the 14th movement. I was going to share a suspended cymbal with Mr. Crystal, but space issues warranted me having my own for the 12th movement. This will be my second time playing this piece, but the first time with adequate personnel. Last summer, I played the piece with Timpani +3. The piece is written for Timpani +6!!! It can, however, be simply done with Timpani +5. Thankfully, there is enough gear between everyone on all three performances of the piece so everything is covered!
As I continue my percussion performance studies, I am honored and privileged to play with musicians that are involved in the highest levels of our art form.