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Reputable percussion ensemble to perform in WPAC, part of Department of Music Guest Artist Series

Nationally acclaimed percussion ensemble So Percussion will grace the stage at the Williams Performing Arts Center Recital Hall Friday at 8 p.m. as the final concert of Abilene Christian University's Department of Music Centennial Guest Artist Series.

The concert is free, but tickets are required. To reserve tickets, call (325) 674-2199, or contact the Department of Music by e-mail at gregory.straughn@acu.edu.

Dr. Allen Teel, professor of percussion and world music, said So Percussion has established an outstanding reputation as a percussion quartet that uses a wide variety of drums, cymbals, keyboard percussion instruments and custom-built instruments.

So Percussion began in New Haven, Conn., in 1999 and set a goal to "challenge and enable the creation of new music that combines musical, theatrical and artistic elements," according to the ensemble's biography on its Web site.

This site describes percussion as having a unique ability to thrill and captivate and possessing possibilities far beyond beats and rhythms. The ensemble seeeks to convey these elements in its live show.

"There aren't all that many percussion ensembles going for a full-time professional performing career," Teel said. "But these guys are going for it."

So Percussion has been reviewed by publications such as Billboard Magazine and the New York Times, and the group performs in clubs, art museums, theaters and concert halls throughout the world. The group also brings educational programs to universities, public schools and other locations across the U.S.

Allen Kozinn of the New York Times said in a 2004 review of a live performance, "Fairly quickly, the ruckus gave way to rhythmic counterpoint: one couldn't ask for more from a percussion group's curtain raiser. The players in So Percussion were energetic and thorough in mining all these works for their visceral and structural thrills."

The group will play several unique pieces on campus, including Steve Reich's "Drumming," a movement from one of the most important minimalist compositions of the 1960s and 1970s, Teel said.

"[So Percussion] has some great music in its repertoire," he said. "The concert should be very stimulating and enjoyable."

For more information about the group, visit www.sopercussion.com.

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