Last Wednesday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m., Radford University held a Faculty Recital at the Performance Hall in the Covington. It was led by Dr. Rob Sanderl who is a percussionist. The event also featured the musical skills of Dr. Wayne Gallops, Jeremy Marks, Sean Brazel, and Michael Strange.
The concert began with Sanderl admitting that he had not gotten much sleep the previous night, so the event would be informal than most concerts at the Covington. The audience did not seem to mind, especially since Sanderl’s musical talent was anything but “informal.”
The first song that was played by Sanderl was “Watercolor,” which was written by Sanderl himself. He said that the song was his first real attempt at composing and that it was written with his wife in mind. The piece was played on the marimba, which gave it an interesting tone. The beginning was a mixture of light notes; the song almost had an inquisitive nature to it.
I thought it was interesting and beautiful the way Sanderl would step to the side in order to properly count out the long, soft rests in the piece. In the beginning of the piece, Sanderl started out with only two mallets and ended up with four toward the end!
The next song that Sanderl played was “Cello Suite no. 4” by Bach himself. Sanderl commented on the piece, “It is fun to play Bach, but it is also scary to play Bach.” This piece was also played on the marimba.
The “Prelude” portion of the song began like a lullaby. The “Allemande” was much more aggressive and sounded like the type of music that was played in century-old, English parties. Finally, the “Courante” wrapped up the piece with the recognizable “Bach” sound.
Next, “Out of the Blue” was played. This piece was composed by Michael Burritt in 1962. The composer acquired the seed for this song from other songs that featured the word “blue” in the title, such as “Blue Flame Quintet” and “In the Blue.” The piece was a true duo showcasing the piano and the marimba.
After, Dr. Wayne Gallops took the stage with playing “Tribute to Dr. Berger.” Berger was a huge influence in the world of percussion; he even invented the modern drum rhythm notation system. This solo was very much American style, with very strict timing.
Then Gallops took the stage again and played “Dr. Ueli” by Peter Heitz. This piece is a Swiss snare drum solo with a carnival twang to it. It has more of a free push and pull of rhythm compared to Gallops’ previous solo.
Jeremy Marks finished up the concert with “Hyperbole,” which was also written by Sanderl four years ago. “Hyperbole” was Sanderl’s attempt to compose a piece of music that included orchestral percussion instruments in a way that you could grove to. I must say, Sanderl was successful!
Published by Radford University’s The Tartan on Apr. 17, 2016