(Posted April 8, 2013)

Jim Latten, far right, associate professor of music, helps play with Steely Pan and the PVCs at last year's Liberal Arts Symposium.
Jim Latten, far right, associate professor of music, helps play with Steely Pan and the PVCs at last year's Liberal Arts Symposium.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Percussion Ensemble, several percussion soloists and the ever-popular Steely Pan and the PVCs will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 12, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

Admission to the concert is $5. All students under age 18 are admitted free, as are Juniata students with ID. The percussion ensembles are directed by James Latten, associate professor of music at Juniata.

The concert will open as the Percussion Ensemble performs "Storm Warning and Dance," by Steve Riley, an American composer who wrote the piece for a larger project called "Weather." The next selection goes back to the roots of rhythm as the group plays "Funk-2-3-4," by Murray Houllif, a composer who has performed with many jazz greats.

Following the funk selection, Houllif's composition "Two Gentlemen from Virginia," is a musical depiction of General Robert E. Lee and General George Washington. Juniata students Alex Debrecht, a junior from Winston-Salem, N.C., and Alex Hansen, a sophomore from Reynoldsburg, Ohio are featured soloists on piccolo.

The ensemble will then perform "Conga," arranged by Brad Shores, a high school music director who has a large catalog as a percussion arranger.

Steely Pan and the PVCs, a group that performs on a set of weird percussion instruments constructed from large PVC plastic pipes, will open the second half of the program by performing a loose group of pop, jazz and pop hits. The selections will include "La Bamba," made famous by Ritchie Valens; "Under the Boardwalk," a pop classic by The Drifters; "Jump in the Line," a calypso number made famous by Harry Belafonte; "Sly Mongoose," a Jamaican folk song; "Day-O," another Belafonte classic; "Pan Painted Blue;" and "Don't Worry, Be Happy," a hit for Bobby McFerrin.

Jim Latten will perform a solo piece on vibraphone, called "Mirror Image," by Chris Hanning, in which Latten will play to a prerecorded accompaniment.
The percussion ensemble returns with "Spare Change," by Josh Gottry, professor of music at South Mountain Community College in Arizona. The next selection will be "Oh, Beautiful," based on "America the Beautiful," by Samuel Ward, accompanied by the Juniata College Women's Chamber Choir (directed by Janice Mianulli).
The concert will close with "Samba Macabre," a classical composition written by Camille Saint-Saens, and "Postlude: Limbo," by the Steely Pan pipe band.

The members of the Juniata Percussion Ensemble are:
Nikhil Bhatnagar, a sophomore from Sterling, Va.; Matt Brumbaugh, a freshman from Pen Argyl, Pa.; Maggie Burkett, a junior from Granville, Ohio; Danielle Cutaia, a freshman from Manchester, Conn.; Amanda Durofchalk, a senior from Wernersville, Pa.; Stephen Estright, a junior from Hollidaysburg, Pa.; Alexis Hadden, a sophomore from Franklin, Pa.; Reinaldo Liem, an international student from Bandung, Indonesia; Emily Reinl, a freshman from Mechanicsburg. Pa.; Silas Robinson, a sophomore from Sinking Spring, Pa.; Stephen Spruell, a freshman from Friedens, Pa.; Jessica Toot, a senior from New Oxford, Pa. Melissa Topping, a freshman from Harrisburg, Pa.; and Laura Vannucci, a sophomore from New Fairfield, Conn.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.