The PCC Percussion Ensemble, directed by Charles "Tad" Carpenter, performed a flurry of tunes Friday, June 3, that demonstrated the various styles and techniques percussionists must use in such background music.


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Classic movies like Jaws or King Kong and cartoons like Looney Tunes or Animaniacs substituted words with music in a way that depended on carefully orchestrated music.

The PCC Percussion Ensemble, directed by Charles “Tad” Carpenter, performed a flurry of tunes Friday, June 3, that demonstrated the various styles and techniques percussionists must use in such background music.

Considering the majority of the ensemble started without prior experience, Carpenter said they did a fantastic job.

“In beginning percussion, students start from learning rhythm and how so many types of instruments combine to make the ensemble,” Carpenter said. “They’ve done remarkably well.”

Pabl De Lazaro, who played a solo titled, “Marimba,” was one of a select group of scholarship winners for a solo performance competition.

“The performance was great,” said De Lazaro. “I had been practicing for two months, pretty much every day. Everyone played and it just really clicked.”

With 18 members and 30 instruments available, the ensemble performed toe-tapping beats like Wally Barnett’s “Jive for Five,” and soothing melodies like James Horner’s “My Heart Will Go On.”

Some students switched between four different instruments during a single song. Each tune lasted roughly two to four minutes.

Songs that switched between loud and quiet, short and long seemed to echo epic and suspenseful scenes.

Meanwhile, samba and marimba music brought the theater to a different time and place.

“It was an informal event, but the performers were really professional,” said Jessica Yuen, communication. “They’re students, so I can’t imagine it being easy to stay and practice.”

Despite praise from the audience, members of the ensemble noticed their own shortcomings.

“We had rehearsed a lot, but of course it was a completely different experience and different feel from the actual performance,” said John Sandoval, music.

“It was kind of scary out there, because we didn’t have to think about the people in small ensemble,” Sandoval added.

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