Nexus was invited by Professor of Percussion Dr. Roger Schupp to play a concert and give clinics for the College of Musical Arts, University of Bowling Green, Ohio. Dr. Schupp (Shoop) teaches 27 students. Prior to our arrival, he allowed no question from us to go unanswered. He took care of us, even providing me with my own practice room for the duration of our stay and suggesting very good restaurants; always a concern when traveling.
The College of Musical Arts possesses a wonderful acoustic in Kobacker Hall and our clinics, rehearsals, and concert were a pleasure. One can sometimes forget how a great acoustic affects percussion instruments, and discovering one on-the-road, is always a relief.
Bob Becker gave a clinic on his marvelous work Rudimental Arithmetic-see his blog-and I presented, with assistance from snare drummers and mallet players from the percussion studio, a two hour version of my multi-media presentation, A History of Military Percussion.
Our concert was attended by percussion students from the Toledo School for the Arts and their teacher, Rob Desmond. They met me, with an ovation, in the Green Room after Nexus’s concert. The picture above conveys their enthusiasm. It was a joy to be surrounded by them.
Below is a letter Mr. Desmond E-mailed in response to my inquiry about his students and their school. It’s wonderful to discover a person such as Rob Desmond working in music. Thank you Rob, and all the best to your students. (Please send me a recording of the Chavez.)
It’s wonderful to hear from you! My students enjoyed the program so much. They had some expectations about the concert, but I think they were not prepared for how cool it was going to be. They really haven’t shut up about it since!
I am teaching at the greatest school in the country! I come to work everyday and have a blast! I have great students, and our performance schedule at TSA (Toledo School for the Arts) is pretty intense. We never have a lot of down time to get stagnate. I teach 4 sections of percussion, which includes a section of ethnic percussion. My other percussion classes are divided up into beginning, intermediate, and advanced. The ethnic percussion class focuses mainly on west African drumming, but we have incorporated Guatamalian marimba, gamelan, and steel drums in the last 2 years. My advanced group plays some pretty challenging music. We are currently working on the Chavez Toccata and Gainsbourough. We also have a steel drum band that actually plays about 30 services every summer for which the students are employed to play in.
Sorry to ramble on, but it’s a topic I enjoy discussing!
I have attached a couple of pictures. Thanks again for your music and kind words!