BLACKSBURG – Maybe the word “percussion” conjures up images of drums. That wouldn’t be incorrect, but the percussion duo Escape Ten proves it to be so much more when they present “Colours of a Groove” Monday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Squires Recital Salon.
Escape Ten is comprised of Virginia Tech music faculty member Annie Stevens and guest artist Andrea Venet. Performing primarily on two marimbas, with vibraphone and drums, their program will include three world premieres: “A One Way Ticket” by Drew Worden; “Chorale Variations” by Steve Danyew; and “Meteor” by Stephen Ridley. Works by Alejandro Vinao, Ivan Trevino, Adi Morag, Russell Hartenberger, and Joe Tompkins will also be performed, along with “Weird Fish Pyramids” by Radiohead.
The duo’s repertoire is vast, including contemporary, pop, jazz, and classical selections. “We enjoy performing music with a groove, and seek composers that will create music to compliment this inherent element in our program,” said Stevens. “Of particular excitement for us is giving the world premiere performance of three pieces we have recently commissioned. After working closely with three young composers, Steve Danyew, Drew Worden, and Stephen Ridley, we have received pieces that exemplify our artistry and direction as an ensemble.”
Stevens has been an active soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. and internationally. As an advocate for new music and percussion repertoire, she participates with many chamber groups engaged in commissioning new works such as New York’s Ensemble Signal and the Grammy nominated Metropolis Ensemble. She has also participated in the organization Make Music New York.
Venet specializes in contemporary and classical percussion literature. She made her second European appearance in the prestigious 5th Annual Marimba Competition in Stuttgart, Germany in 2008, and competed in the perKumania Paris international marimba competition in 2006. As a performer she has been part of three tours across the United States with the six-time world champions Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps. Andrea has also performed in concert with the Grammy award winning alternative band TOOL with the Gilbert Drumline in 2001. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate at the Eastman School of Music.
They have just finished recording their first session as a duo, and expect to release their first album in November. Watch some of their performances here.
Escape Ten will also perform for the student music convocation Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m., which is free and open to the public in Squires Recital Salon.
The recital is the third in a series of nine visiting artist recitals which include Jeff Nelsen, horn (Oct. 21), Javier Vinasco, clarinet (Nov. 4), Jennifer Aylmer, soprano (Nov 18), Emmanuelle Bertrand, cello and Pascal Amoyel, piano (Dec. 10), Nicholas Ross, piano (Jan. 27), and Dennis Mackrel with the Jazz Ensembles (April 29).
Tickets for the recital are $15 general, $10 senior, and $5 student; the composition workshop is free of charge for the general public. Tickets may be purchased at the Student Centers and Activities Ticket Office on the first floor of Squires Student Center, online at www.parking.vt.edu/, or by calling 540-231-5615. Tickets will also be available at the box office beginning one hour prior to the performance. Discounted seats are available with the purchase of five or more tickets to any combination of performances in the School of Performing Arts 2013-14 season. The season includes the Visiting Artist Series, Ensemble Performance Series, and Mainstage Theatre productions.
The Recital Salon is located in the Squires Student Center at 290 College Ave. on the campus of Virginia Tech. Free parking is available in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Streets, in the Architecture Annex Lot on Otey Street, and the Perry Street/Prices Fork lots. Find more parking information on the website or call 540-231-3200. Alternative parking is available in the Kent Squire parking garage and the Farmers Market metered parking lot, both located on Draper Road. Additional downtown Blacksburg parking information can be found online.