Percussion Group Cincinnati Performs March 6 at Lawrence University

APPLETON, WIS. — Percussion Group Cincinnati brings its dynamic and imaginative musical virtuosity to the Lawrence University Memorial Chapel, 510 E. College Ave., Friday, March 6 for an 8 p.m. performance.

Tickets, at $20-22 for adults, $17-19 for seniors and $15-17 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749. The concert is part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Lawrence Artist Series.

Formed in 1979, the trio of Allen Otte, James Culley, and Russell Burge, each a professor at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, perform classic and experimental concert music with a theatrical flair. In addition to drums, cymbals, marimbas, gongs and bells, the Group often incorporates such unconventional “instruments” as amplified cactus needles, newspapers and garbage cans into their performances.

While much of their repertoire is devoted to young composers from around the world, the Group is perhaps best known for their expertise in the music of composer John Cage, who has written several pieces specifically for them.

“Percussion Group Cincinnati ranks among the top five contemporary percussion groups in the world,” said Dane Richeson, director of percussion studies at Lawrence. “For years they have dedicated themselves to the art of new music by commissioning new works along with producing innovative concerts and recordings that are truly inspiring and thought provoking. It’s a rare treat to have a percussion group of this caliber perform in Wisconsin, let alone the Fox Cities.”

During its 30-year performance career, the Group has attracted an international audience. Recent concert engagements include a world premiere with the Singapore Chinese Instrument Orchestra, a performance with the Shanghai International Spring Music Festival and a tour of Japan. In addition to appearances as concerto soloists with symphony orchestras around the country, the Group regularly conducts community concerts, workshops and masterclasses.

The Group’s discography includes their recording of John Luther Adams’ evening-length “Strange and Sacred Noise” and a 25-year retrospective multi-disc set that includes performances spanning the group’s entire history.