WU Percussion presents an outdoor percussion concert

On April 20, 2023, Von Hansen, the assistant professor of music, coordinated a much-anticipated percussion concert outside between the Mulvane Museum and Memorial Union.

The concert featured six performers along with Hansen himself who directed and hosted the concert. In accordance with the tradition, Hansen shared the reason he chose to have the performance outside.

“Three years ago, post COVID, this was the first concert that we could do in public and where Washburn allowed an audience in it. We liked how it sounded out here. We did it last year and it went well. So, this is going to be a thing that we just keep doing every spring as long as the weather cooperates,” Hansen said.

The event introduced a wide range of items that were used as instruments to create complementary music. It included flowerpots, gongs, water-dipped crotales, woodblocks and many more items.

Along with all of the pieces performed by Hansen’s team, he shared that “The Whole Toy Laid Down” by Dave Hollinden was the highlight of the concert. Hansen outlined how it was the most complex and challenging piece to execute, and the reason why it was the highlight.

“This is actually the piece that we took to the first annual Kansas Percussive Arts Society Ensemble Competition and they got first place,” Hansen said.

Many families were present among the crowds to watch the performance. The performers’ families were also there to support them and enjoy the music. One of the parents of a participant at the percussion concert, Paul Walrod, attended the event with his family and shared his opinion on the concert.

“I liked that they got to play a variety of instruments in a variety of styles,” Walrod said.

The concert concluded with all of the performers, including Hansen, performing “Fly As Me” by Silk Sonic, which featured an extensive use of steel drums.

Hansen also disclosed that the concert’s artists will perform their solo pieces on May 2 in White Concert Hall.

Edited by Cee Spiller and Aja Carter