Percussion captivates with Flatts’ drummer
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 15:04
On 7:30 p.m., Apr. 11 at UC 112 the UTM Percussion Studio hosted their annual spring concert with special guest Rascal Flatts drummer Jim Riley.
According to UTM Director of Percussion Studies Julie Hill, the show was a huge success.
“I felt it was one of best concerts ever. The students were well prepared and the performance was a celebration of hard work rather than something to be nervous about. My students are fantastic! I think the audience responded appropriately which was of course, enthusiastically,” Hill said.
One major bonus of the concert was guest star Riley, who not only performed in the show but also gave lessons to percussion studio students.
“I enjoyed providing the opportunity for my students to see a real pro – someone that plays their tail off and still has a great work ethic and the heart of a teacher. He emphasized to my students that you must be much more than a great player to ‘make it’ in the music business these days. You must play really well, but also be punctual, polite, easy to work with and a good human,” Hill said.
As for the pieces played, the studio explored different types of pieces all the way from complex pieces like “Sprint” commissioned by Dr. Blake Wilkins and “Shift” by Gordon Hughes.
“I pick every piece in all of our programs for a reason – sometimes it’s to teach a historical piece to my students, others are chosen because they are new music or because they are very difficult and teach a new musical skill. Some are chosen of course for accessibility to the audience so that they can relax and have a little fun too,” Hill said.
According to Hill, a large part of the success can be attributed to the percussion students’ hard work.
“This is the best group of students I have had in 7 years at UT Martin. I am so proud of their ability level and work ethic, but also because they are just super positive people to be around. I love my job, and I love going to work every day, and I hope that shines through in our music making,” Hill said.