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Life as a Captain
Eddie Sonnie

Percussion Ensemble: More Than Just Drums

by Eddie Sonnie

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Academics

On November 14, our Percussion Ensemble held its first concert of the year in the wonderful Peebles Theatre. Originally, I had not planned to go, because I didn’t know when (or what) it was. That was until I found out that my section leader in the University Chorale was a part of the Percussion Ensemble and he told me that they were having a performance. I had to go and support him, and I didn’t regret it at all.

The whole idea of a musical group consisting of nothing but percussion confused me at first. I was wondering how drums and other things you beat can sound different, but I was quickly shown how great percussion is that night. While I may not know any of the names of those instruments, it was very evident that each iteration of the drum on stage made a unique sound, and each piece they performed sounded completely different than the last, not to mention all of the musicians on stage were extremely talented.

What really impressed me was that there seemed to be about 30 instruments on stage, but there were fewer than 10 people performing. Throughout the performance, they would spontaneously switch instruments and continue playing seamlessly. I was so impressed with the multitasking abilities of the performers, they were all great. In one of the pieces, there was a girl on stage who was literally playing six instruments at once. I could not help but give a standing ovation.

Christopher Newport is such an amazing place, with so many great and talented people. I feel so privileged to be a part of a university that embraces music and encourages its students to get involved. You would think that most people in the music ensembles are music majors, but that’s not always the case. I am a Spanish and communication major in the University Chorale, and my section leader in the Chorale is an economics major, and not only is he a singer in our choir, but he’s also one of the best percussionists I know. I’m so happy to support my fellow Captains, and I love knowing that we are all extremely well-rounded and supportive of each other.

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