Saturday Night with Calypso Band Dance Rhythms and Percussion Ensemble’s Metallic Rainforest

HSU Calypso Band plays high-energy dance music from Trinidad, the World Percussion Group explores dance drumming from Ghana and the Percussion Ensemble performs two percussive classics, all on Saturday, December 6, starting at 8 p.m. in the Van Duzer Theatre.

“The First Construction in Metal” is a 1939 John Cage composition that Percussion Ensemble director Eugene Novotney calls “brash, creative and a vital example of the American avant-garde style.” It employs 58 metal instruments to produce what New Music writer Alexandra Gardner calls “a metallic rainforest.”


“Many consider it to be Cage’s finest early work,” Novotney said, “and this is an excellent opportunity to hear and experience this classic piece.”

The Percussion Ensemble also plays “Concertino for 12 Percussionists and 2 Pianos” by Czech composer Vaclev Nelhybel. “Nehlybel uses different combinations of membranes, woods, and metals to create fascinating textures and soundscapes that surround the listener with pulsating rhythmic variety,” Novotney said. The result is “an immense piece” that is “highly rhythmic and extremely exciting.”

Then the World Percussion Group explores dance drumming from the Ewe people of Ghana, aided by dancers from the HSU World Dance Expressions class performing traditional choreography.

The Calypso Band takes over for the second half of the concert with authentic dance rhythms from Trinidad, including two modern Panorama classics: “Misbehave” by Lennox “Boogsie” Sharpe, and “We Just Can’t Go On Like This” by Ray Holman.

Tickets are $10/$5 seniors & children/$3 HSU students from HSU Ticket Office (707) 826-3928 or at the door. For more information visit Directed by Eugene Novotney and Howard Kaufman, produced by HSU Music Department.