Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band Ensemble 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 7:30pm
$10 all tickets
  • Percussion mallet details (photo: Steve Korn).

The UW Percussion Ensemble (Bonnie Whiting, director) and the UW Steel Band (Shannon Dudley, director) present music from around the world in this end-of-year performance.

Bonnie Whiting

Bonnie Whiting joined the School of Music faculty in Fall 2016 as Chair of Percussion Studies. She performs and commissions new experimental music for percussion. She seeks out projects involving non-traditional notation, interdisciplinary performance, improvisation, and the speaking percussionist.

Recent work includes a series of concerts at the John Cage Centennial Festival in Washington DC, and performance as a soloist in Tan Dun's Water Passion under the baton of the composer himself. In 2011, she joined red fish blue fish percussion group in premiering the staged version of George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny directed by Peter Sellars and featuring Dawn Upshaw for Ojai Festival. 

Whiting has collaborated with many of today's leading new music groups, including eighth blackbird (the “Tune-in” festival at the Park Avenue Armory), the International Contemporary Ensemble (American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers at Miller Theatre, as an on-stage percussionist for Andriessen’s epic music theatre work De Materie), Bang on a Can (Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians for the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series) and Ensemble Dal Niente (the Fromm Concerts at Harvard.) During the summer, she is a member of the Walden Players, enesmble in residence at the Walden School in Dublin, NH.

She performs regularly with percussionist Allen Otte; they have presented concerts at The Stone in New York, The New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, throughout New Zealand, and at colleges and universities around the country. Her debut album, featuring an original solo-simultaneous realization of John Cage’s 45’ for a speaker and 27’10.554” for a percussionist, was released by Mode Records in 2017.

A dedicated arts educator, Bonnie spent three years with Tales & Scales, a quartet combining new music, dance, and theater for family audiences, giving over 400 performances in 25 states and appearing with the Dallas, Oregon, Indianapolis, Buffalo, and Louisville orchestras. She also helped to develop several experimental music programs in Southern California: The Children’s Universal Language Orchestra in Spring Valley as well as residencies at the Monarch School (for children affected by homelessness) and the inner-city Lincoln High School in San Diego.

She was a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in Switzerland under the direction of Pierre Boulez, and has performed throughout Europe as well as Canada and Panama. Bonnie has worked with composers Jerome Kitzke, Randall Woolf, John Luther Adams, Michael Pisaro, and Frederic Rzewski, and she champions the music of her peers. 

Bonnie attended Interlochen Arts Academy, Oberlin Conservatory (BM), University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM), and University of California San Diego (DMA.) She has served on the faculties of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the DePauw University School of Music, and as a lecturer at UC San Diego. She moves back to Seattle, WA to lead the percussion department at the University of Washington in the fall of 2016. 

Ethnomusicology professor Shannon Dudley (Photo: Steve Korn).

Shannon Dudley, professor of Ethnomusicology, holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He teaches courses that include music of Latin America and the Caribbean, American popular music, Music and Community, Comparative Musicianship and Analysis, and graduate seminars in Ethnomusicology.  He also directs the UW steeelband.

Dudley has conducted research in Trinidad and Tobago, focusing on the history and music of steelbands. More recent research projects include the music of El Gran Combo, and salsa music in Puerto Rico generally, as well as Latino contributions to American popular music. His theoretical interests include nationalism, transculturation, and participatory music practices.

His publications include Carnival Music in Trinidad (Oxford University Press, 2004), as well as Music From Behind the Bridge (Oxford University Press, 2008), a history of Trinidad steelband music, and numerous other articles on Caribbean music, including and "Judging by the Beat:  Calypso vs. Soca," Ethnomusicology (1996), and “El Gran Combo, Cortijo, and the Musical Geography of Cangrejos/Santurce, Puerto Rico,” Journal of Caribbean Studies (2008). 

Dudley is one of the curators (along with his wife, Marisol Berríos-Miranda, and Michelle Habell-Pallan) for American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music, a bilingual museum exhibit that opened at the Experience Music Project in Seattle in 2008.  American Sabor was exhibited in museums in several U.S. cities, culminating in a 3-month run at the International Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in summer 2011.  He is also guest curator for a smaller version of the exhibit prepared by the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibit Service (SITES), and for their website (http://www.americansabor.org), and is currently working on a book manuscript.

In Seattle Dudley performs on steel pan with several local bands, and participates in the Seattle Fandango Project (SFP), a community music group that practices son jarocho.  He has helped to bring visiting artists from Mexico to the University of Washington (including Son de Madera and Laura Rebolloso) and to promote active collaboration between community arts activists and university individuals and programs.