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The East Central University Percussion Ensemble was selected as one of the Honor groups to perform at the 2023 Oklahoma Music Educators Association Conference in January. The group is set to perform at ECU’s Ataloa Theatre Tuesday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m.

At OKMEA, the ensemble performed “The Feeling of Coming Home” by Victor Labozetta III. This was the Oklahoma premiere of the percussion octet, described as the harmonic equivalent of dipping one’s fingers into cans of paint and smearing all the colors onto an empty easel. The piece intends to match the feeling one may find upon a long-awaited return to the place they call home.

The group also performed “Bulldog” by Andrea Venet. The composition is inspired by Shosti (her Bulldog) and their jam time. It’s a versatile piece with paradiddles and funky grooves, juxtaposed with a steady pulse. Third Coast Percussion commissioned the piece.

The performance included the world premieres of “Suadela” by Caleb Pickering and “The Inner Rhythm,” by ECU Dr. Nicholaus Meyers. “Suadela” is named after the Roman goddess of persuasion, particularly in the realms of romance, seduction and love. The piece was commissioned by Meyers and the ECU Percussion Ensemble. “The Inner Rhythm” brings together the sounds of Kumi-Daiko (Japanese drumming) and Native American traditional drumming. Ten various drums sound throughout the piece, ranging from high pitch to low pitch.

“Science Fiction” by Rick Dior will be performed at the April 4 concert. “Science Fiction” is tribute to the great science fiction and horror movies of the mid-20th century.

The ensemble is under the direction of Meyers, and assisted by ECU faculty Hunter Gross and Stephen Timperley. The percussionists include Jason Abbott of Ada, Mateao Fajardo of Madill, Landin Funk of Duncan, Aldan Gallaway of Marietta, Atley Guilbeau of Durant, Kaylee Hacker of Prague, Timothy Jacobson of Snyder, Miles Lewis of Whichita Falls, Texas, Liam Neel of Oklahoma City, Paul Puente of Madill, John Robers of Checotah, Twan Yellowfish of Tupelo, William Welden of Oklahoma City, and Jacob Williams of Ada.

The ensemble is made up of around 12-18 students each semester and performs both standard literature and newly composed works. For more information about the percussion ensemble or studying music at ECU, contact Meyers at

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