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Stereo Action

for percussion ensemble

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In the music-style wars of the last century, nothing out-“styled” the swanky swing of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad and Pops Percussion records of the 1960’s. Composers, arrangers, and band leaders like Esquivel, Marty Gold, Enoch Light, Dick Schory, and Bernie Green all had fabulous bands, fabulous record covers, a remarkably square-shaped hipness, and an unabashed excitement about the still-infant separated audio channels of “Living Stereo”. If the record was any good, the stereo was hyper-panned, and the guitars and bongos would bounce from left to right like a tennis ball. RCA Victor even had a series with the name “Stereo Action”, which hits the aesthetic nail so on the head, it seemed worth stealing. These records are all driven by virtuosic percussionists, so a full ensemble of them seemed even better. The result is this Stereo Action, where the percussion (including the oft-neglected percussion instrument, the piano) also takes on the original roles of the hot brass, the swanky strings, and the smooth electric guitars. Of course, all is in glorious stereo. But Stereo Action is not a parody; it is a loving embrace of the only musical genre where your Hi-Fi must be finely-tuned, and your martini perfectly chilled.

Genres:   Chamber

Subgenres:   EducationalPercussionChamber


9 players: Glock, 2Xyl, 2Vibr, Mar, TubBells, Piano, Timp, 2Bngos, 2WBlocks, Tamb, EggShkr, Mrcas, 2Guir, Timb/Cha-Bell, 2RideCym/SDrum, Cong, 2Toms, 2Splash/CrashCym, KDrum, SandPBl, BellTr, Claves, Trgl, TempBl, SuspCym, Hi-hat

Commissioned by

George Mason University – John Kilkenny, Director of Percussion Studies
Indiana University – John Tafoya, Chairman of Percussion Department
McMurry University – Keith Lloyd, Director of Percussion Studies
Texas A&M University-Commerce – Brian Zator, Director of Percussion
Texas Tech University – Lisa Rogers, Associate Professor of Percussion Studies
The University of Iowa – Daniel Moore, Professor of Music
University of Kentucky – James Campbell, Director of Percussion Studies

Consortium organized by: Brian Zator, Texas A&M University-Commerce

Recent Performances

  • March 1, 2016 - Ethos New Music Society at SUNY Fredonia School of Music, Rosch Recital Hall. Composer residency
  • August 6, 2012 - The Queensland Academy for Creative Industries at Queensland, AUSTRALIA.
  • March 24, 2012 - The MSUM Percussion Ensemble at Hanson Theatre / Minnesota State University Moorhead. Directed by Dr. Kenyon Williams