Friday, October 04, 2013

Playing The Planets by Holst: 1st Movement--Mars


I have been playing with the Twin Cities Concert Band for two weeks and I absolutely love it. It's a great community of performers of all ages performing at Indiana University South Bend. We are located in a brand-new building with brand-new percussion equipment. There is actually a 5-octave marimba! Interestingly, one person really enjoys playing tympani (my least favorite instrument) and the other favors the marimba (not my strongest instrument), so I am playing snare and auxiliary percussion.

The two hours fly by.

I forgot how mental--and physical-- playing percussion is, or else I've gotten older and out of practice. And you have to count. And I am horrible at counting. I did it before, so I will do it again. Our first performance is in late November.

One of the songs we are going to play is called The Planets by Gustav Holst. It's the first movement. I am playing a drum roll on a gong for forty measures in 5/4 time. (In other words, I'm rolling for a looong time.) And then I jump over to the bass drum a few measures later for a bass drum note. Then rolling on the suspended cymbal, then back to the gong.

As you can see,percussion is a perfect instrument for a person with ADD.

Gustav Theodore Holst (1874-1934) composed The Planets. This is his most well-known work. Mars was composed in 1914 and based on Hoist's love of the night sky. Mars is also influenced by the themes of war and violence, especially since the music was composed and influenced by World War One.

Come see us in November!

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