Olivia Kieffer performs in her first faculty percussion recital


Reinhardt percussion instructor Olivia Kieffer gave a serene solo percussion performance with the marimba and vibraphone, her first as an RU faculty member.

The performance took place at the Falany Performing Arts Center at Reinhardt University at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8.

The recital included several pieces, including Three String Etude “A Dream of Autumn” by Brian Kozaczek, 10 Short Pieces for Solo Vibraphone by Olivia Kieffer, Un qualsiasi notturno by Francesco Di Fiore, Quiet Rhythms Suite by William Susman, and Red by Marc Mellits.

“These are pieces that I always wanted to play,” Kieffer said, adding she planned to perform these pieces for this event back in June.

She said she could not choose a favorite piece, and she loves them all.

“I can’t say. They’re all just delightful,” she said.

The audience appeared to thoroughly enjoy the performance. Each piece was played with emotion and was sentimental. Students especially enjoyed the opportunity to see their professor in action.

“She is my instructor. She is really good and really talented,” said Student Ethan Strickland.

Student Jesus Guzman called it “amazing.”

RU Alum Nick McClure joined Kieffer on stage for Quiet Rhythms Suite. The two faced each other while performing, which resulted in a powerful collaboration. Each performer had a variation of the same theme, flowing well. The repetitiveness of their flowing melodies produced a nice calming vibe.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It was fantastic,”  said student McKayla Parmele.

Stephen Clark, another RU Alum, joined Kieffer on stage for Red, which was the last piece performed and consisted of six sections. Red was a powerful performance, with the matching of the player’s notes and the double hit on the lower end from Kieffer, this was a powerful start in the first piece, Moderately Funky. Part IV Slow, with Motion of Red was soothing. Peaceful chords were rolled on to set the peaceful tone of the section.

“I thought it was really amazing. Section IV. Of Red was vibrant,” said student Joy Etheridge.

Both McClure and Clark, who joined Kieffer on stage, were her students.

“They’re both wonderful musicians,” Kieffer said.

The first piece Kieffer decided to perform for this recital was 10 Short Pieces for Solo Vibraphone. Kieffer said, “No one has ever performed them in a concert before, and I thought it would be cool to premiere all 10 of them.” Kieffer was so happy with how 10 Short Pieces for Solo Vibraphone sounded on stage, that she would like to record that piece. All of the pieces have a special meaning to Kieffer.

Kieffer will be performing in the Faculty Recital on Oct. 16, at the Falany Performing Arts Center.


Written By: Kelly Kipfer. Photo Credit: Kelly Kipfer

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