UMass Percussion Ensemble performs at museum

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) presents the UMass Percussion Ensemble in concert on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.

The program features five works for a variety of percussion instruments: Steve Reich's “Music for Pieces of Wood,” Alejandro Viñao's “Book of Grooves,” Jennifer Higdon's “Splendid Wood” for marimba sextet, and percussion quartets by Andy Akiho and Aurél Holló.

The UMass Percussion Ensemble consists of 14 undergraduate and three graduate percussion students at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, directed by Ayano Kataoka.

Kataoka is a percussionist known for her “brilliant and dynamic technique as well as the unique elegance and artistry she brings to her performances,” according to her biography on her website.

A leading proponent of contemporary repertoire, Kataoka has participated in several consortiums to commission new works for solo marimba or chamber ensemble.

“We love presenting music in the museum's galleries,” BMAC Director Danny Lichtenfeld said in a news release, “especially contemporary music that resonates with the contemporary art on our walls.”

“Hearing the powerful and transportive sounds of the UMass Percussion Ensemble while surrounded by Emily Mason's evocative abstract paintings is going to make for a stirring, multi-sensory experience,” Lichtenfeld said.

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