Rich Holly's Percussion Place

Assorted ramblings and occasional updates in the world of percussion.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Last night we hosted Stuart Marrs, the percussion professor at the University of Maine, who presented a two-and-one-half hour clinic and masterclass on Elliott Carter's Eight Pieces for Four Timpani, and also presented a cymbal clinic.

Stuart has a fantastic DVD out on the Carter Eight Pieces - I highly recommend you purchase it. It is really interactive, including comments being spoken (in your choice of 3 languages!) over the performance of each piece, errata, copies of the original manuscripts, the ability to change camera angles, overhead views detailing the various striking spots on the heads, and more. It's one of the best educational DVDs I've ever had the pleasure of watching and using.

Stuart did a great job discussing the Carter Pieces and the process he went through in learning, analyzing, memorizing and recording them. He heard 4 of our students play and gave excellent critiques and several very helpful hints to each of them. I've had the pleasure of knowing Stuart for many years through the Percussive Arts Society, and he is always positive, friendly and helpful. He brings these qualities to his presentations. If you're a college professor and haven't yet had Stuart as a guest on your campus, you need to seriously consider bringing him in - the students really enjoyed the experience.