Olivia Kieffer

Reinhardt’s Percussion Ensemble brings rhythm to FPAC

Percussion Ensemble
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The Reinhardt Percussion Ensemble performed for a sizable crowd in the Falany Performing Arts Center. The show brought international rhythms together under one roof.

Beginning at 7:30 pm on Nov. 8, the performance brought together seven pieces from around the world, much to the delight of the crowd.

“I thought it was amazing,” sophomore Aundrea Aker said.

Instrumental Studies professor Olivia Kieffer directed and performed in the show, and she debuted her own arrangement of the final song “Music for Wiek.” Throughout the show, the ensemble used various percussion instruments, like different types of drums and a marimba to name a few. The ensemble also made use of pianos and the Reinhardt Saxophone Quartet.

The full version of “Music for Wiek” is a 70-minute performance, but the ensemble performed only one portion for this show. Traditionally using sampled percussion, Professor Kieffer’s arrangement changed to live instruments, and the resulting sound was truly a unique experience.

Playing for roughly an hour-and-a-half, the percussion ensemble provided a fantastic night of unique songs in several styles ranging from ethereal church bells to flamenco, encouraged by the enthusiastic crowd.

The Ensemble performed a wonderful show that is a prime example of the talent here at Reinhardt.

Written by: Jacob Howard. Photos by Malik Golar.

Olivia Kieffer performs in her first faculty percussion recital

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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