West Virginia Universitys 2006 Fall Percussion Ensemble Concert will feature contemporary works and special performances, along with a celebration of composer Steve Reich, at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 10) in the Creative Arts Center.

We are joining the rest of the musical world in celebration of his (Reichs) 60th birthday,said Ensemble director George Willis.The Ensemble will take one of his most famous works and combine the high-quality professional musicianship with cutting-edge contemporary musical styles. We will showcase some of our best drum set artists on this work.

The Ensemble will performMusic for Pieces of Woodby Reich, who was recently calledAmericas greatest living composer.Reichs influence cannot be understated on classical music in general and percussion music specifically, said Willis.

For nearly three decades, the Fall Percussion Ensemble Concert has been one of the highlights of each year at the University.

This years event in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre will continue this tradition, as well as move into the cutting edge of 21st century performance genre.

The program will also includeUneven Soulsby Nebojsa Zivkovic,Fantasy on the Plainsby Michael Aukofer,Blue Rhythm Quintetby Anthony Korf,Crown of Thornsby David Maslanka, andPaschal Dancesby David Gillingham.

Uneven Soulsis a challenging, energetic marimba concerto. Zivkovic is one of the leading European percussionists and composers. His works are consistently innovative and audience-friendly. This work includes marimba solo, percussion accompaniment and male choir.

Kevin Zaczkiewicz, a graduate assistant for the WVU percussion department, will be the soloist forUneven Souls.Zaczkiewicz holds both music education and music performance undergraduate degrees from WVU and was the captain and instructor of the WVU Marching Band drumline. He has performed with all of the ensembles at WVU , as well as with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra.

Fantasy on the Plainsis a musical setting of Aukofers travels through the plains of the Midwest. He uses percussion instruments to express his admiration for the beauty and variety of the landscape. Aukofer is a rising young composer who was working on his doctorate at the University of Kentucky whenFantasy on the Plainspremiered at his alma mater, Wichita State University, in April 2003.

Blue Rhythm Quintetcombines the driving rhythms of the big band styles with extensive percussion. The result is a fast-paced work that energizes both the performers and the audience.

Crown of Thornshas become one of the most-performed pieces of the past ten years. The work is beautiful, sober and reflective, said Willis. The title refers to Christscrown of thorns,but the piece was inspired by a rambling, thorny desert plant from the Middle East.

The Ensemble has paid special attention to GillinghamsPaschal Dances,said Willis.

This (�€~Paschal Dances) is one of the most challenging pieces performed recently by the Ensemble, a work for a large ensemble of 13 players,said the director.It can be compared to a one-movement work for symphony orchestra, with exciting contrasted sections. The large percussion ensemble is one of the most marvelous sounding ensembles in todays musical styles.

Tickets for the WVU Percussion Ensemble Concert are $12 for the general public, $10 for WVU faculty/staff and senior citizens, and $8 for WVU students. Tickets are available at the Mountainlair and Creative Arts Center Box Offices or by calling 304-293-SHOW.

For more information, contact Charlene Lattea, 304-293-4841, ext. 3108