Band concerts often have a calm-before-the-storm feel to them. The lights go down while the band prepares to play the first note. Meanwhile, the audience is waiting in anticipation. Suddenly, the first song bursts into a wall of sound highlighted by the boom of drums. As the music goes on further, lighter percussion instruments play the melody enhancing to everything else the band is doing. It is apparent that percussion is one of the most important parts of any band. Anyone can do it too, whether it’s for a hobby or for a profession. This is the primary reason for the annual Percussion Day in Montana, which is held in Bozeman this year.
On April 2, MSU is hosting a day that is entirely focused on percussion. Starting at 10 a.m. for only $10, eager musicians from all over the state can come to campus to participate in various classes related to multiple different percussion instruments. “These classes will be for people of all ages and expertise. The day is for anyone who wants to learn percussion as a hobby or as a profession,” said Stephen Versaevel, the MSU director of percussion studies. “The classes will range from drum set, to orchestral percussion, to the fundamentals for high school and middle schoolers. There will be something for everyone.”
MSU has brought two renowned percussionists from various parts of the country to showcase their skills and teach classes: Dave Hall and Zach Harmon. Hall is an assistant professor of percussion at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Harmon is one of the most noteworthy jazz drummers in the country. Both of them will use their expertise to teach various classes about their knowledge of percussion, as well as show off their skills.
Once all of the classes are over, there is still more fun to be had, as there will be a concert held in Howard Hall that night at 7:30 p.m. This concert will feature the MSU Percussion Ensemble and the MSU 1 o’clock jazz band. Hall and Harmon will also be showcasing their wide variety of percussionary skills for all eyes to see. The concert will be free for anyone who participates in Percussion Day or $10 for anyone who wants to come for the concert.
If the entry fee seems too steep of a price, there is a very high chance that everyone will make their money back. “There will be door prizes given out throughout the day,” Versaevel said. “These prizes will range from snare cases to sticks, and there will be shirts given away at the various clinics. It’ll be easy to make your money back.”
Percussion Day is a can’t-miss experience for anyone who is interested in learning about percussion, or music in general.
MSU Percussion Day is appropriate for all ages and experience levels. It will take place in Howard Hall on April 2 at 10 a.m.