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Percussion Ensemble, UW Steel Band and Gamelan Ensemble: "2022 Percussion Bash"

Percussion instruments

The UW Percussion Ensemble (Bonnie Whiting, director) presents a year-end performance shared with the UW Steel Drum Band (Shannon Dudley, director) and Gamelan Ensemble (Heri Purwanto, director). The Steel Band performs a mix of calypso and salsa classics, as well as an original composition by graduate student Emily Silks. The Gamelan Ensemble performs a gendhing bonang (a traditional composition for bonang gong chimes, one-octave metallophones, gongs, and drums) and a masked dance (tari topèng) from the regency of Malang in east Java, featuring guest dancer Christina Sunardi. The UW Percussion Ensemble performs Carlos Chávez's historic Toccata (1942) alongside newer experimental works by Nat Evans, Rachel Walker, Jeffrey Treviño, and Eugene Novotney.

Masks are recommended in all indoor spaces. Proof of vaccination remains a requirement for everyone 12 and over at Meany Hall and all ArtsUW Ticket Office events, including Meany Center, DXARTS, Dance Department, School of Drama, and School of Music. Individuals unable to be fully vaccinated, including people with a medical or religious exemption, must have proof of a negative provider-administered COVID-19 test (taken within 72 hours of the performance). UW staff will check for proof of vaccination and negative COVID tests at the doors as a condition of entry. Proof of negative test result must come from a test provider, a laboratory or a health care provider. Home or self-administered tests will not be accepted.  Details of these policies and procedures are at 


The University of Washington Percussion Ensemble, Bonnie Whiting director

with Scott Farkas and Jonathan Rodriguez, graduate student assistant directors


Consecration (1990):  John Luther Adams (b. 1953)

Cicada Song (2018): Rachel C. Walker

Urban Hymn no. 1 (2012): Brett William Dietz (b. 1972)

Intentions (1983)Eugene Novotney (b. 1960)


Urban Hymn no. 3 (2012): Dietz




Unrelated (2009) Nat Evans (b. 1980)




Toccata for Percussion Instruments (1942):  Carlos Chávez (1899-1978)

  1. Allegro sempre giusto
  2. Largo
  3. Allegro un poco marziale, vivo

Percussion Ensemble Personnel

Ryan Baker, Sophia Chin, Scott Farkas, Daisy Fernandez, Abigail George, Cyrus Graham, Simon Harty, Brindha Jaeger, Billie Reafs, Jonathan Rodriguez, Grace Rosing, Ben Roe, Alice Standley


-------10-minute intermission------


University of Washington Gamelan Ensemble
Ethnomusicology Visiting Artist Heri Purwanto, Director and Christina Sunardi, Dancer

  1. Gendhing Bonang Dhenggung Turularé, laras pélog pathet lima, a composition of 64 beats per gong cycle 

Gendhing bonang, a type of composition that features the bonang gong chimes, one-octave metallophones, gongs, and drums—instruments referred to as the “loud” instruments of the ensemble—are often played at the beginning of gamelan performances. Voice and the “soft” elaborating instruments such as the xylophone, multi-octave metallophones, fiddle and flute are not used. 


  1. Dance: Tari Topèng Gunung Sari

This masked dance (tari topèng) from the regency of Malang in east Java portrays Gunung Sari, a dashing and energetic character.  A knight and hero from medieval times who appears in the indigenous east Javanese Panji story cycle, Gunung Sari is much loved in Malang for the elegance of his movements, which are controlled, agile, and sometimes womanly.  Indeed, balancing the masculinity and femininity of the movements is a challenge of this dance.  Gunung Sari is portrayed in the forest, where he often goes to meditate or practice his fighting skills.  He is quite proud of his appearance and dress: As he walks about he adjusts his outfit, looks at himself in a mirror, and waves to women (or imagined women).  To increase his own agility and beauty, he imitates the movements of various animals, including deer and birds.  ~ Heri Purwanto and Christina Sunardi

UW Gamelan Ensemble (students of Heri Purwanto):
Julia Aguilar Jerez, Lucy Axtelle, Joel Bergstrom, Kimani Bishop, Aaron Butler, Billie Reafs, Emily Chua, Jayme Courtney, Maximilian Czerwinski, Juan Hillon, Karissa Longo, Kieran Matz, Mayah Mbayo, Maria Price, Emily Silks, Max Williams 

______5 MINUTE PAUSE_______________

UW Steel Band
Shannon Dudley, director

Pan Rising: Len Boogsie Sharpe (arr. Shannon Dudley)

Cochero Pare:  Marcelino Guerra (arr. Shannon Dudley)

Seven-thirty AM:  Emily Silks

Charlotte Stree: Ray Holman (arr. Shannon Dudley)

The UW Steelband
Ryan Baker, Kimani Bishop, Ryan Dulong, Joseph Schafer, Jacob Schultz, Emily Silks, Warren Weisbluth, Zhiyong Zhuang

Special Guest: Marisol Berríos-Miranda, guiro



Heri Purwanto’s residency has been made possible with the generous support of the University of Washington Southeast Asia Center under the directorship of Celia Lowe, the School of Music under the directorships of Joel Durand and the late JoAnn Taricani, and Christina Sunardi’s Adelaide D. Currie Cole Endowed Professorship in the School of Music at the University of Washington. 

Many thanks to: Doug Niemela, the Meany Center staff, and School of Music Acting Director Joël-François Durand

The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.


The University of Washington Percussion Ensemble is comprised of graduate and undergraduate percussionists, and it is open to music majors, music minors, and other members of the UW community.  This group performs a wide range of music, encompassing world premieres, group improvisation, and historic works for percussion ensemble. The UWPE has performed at the Northwest Percussion Festival, and at outreach events in the Seattle area, such as an interactive performance for Tent City 3 residents, on the Wayward Series, and at the 2017 NUMUS Northwest Festival.

Bonnie Whiting performs and composes experimental music, seeking projects that involve the speaking percussionist, improvisation, and non-traditional notation. Recent work includes performances at the John Cage Centennial Festival in Washington DC, an evening-length song cycle for speaking percussionist composed by Eliza Brown and 10 musicians incarcerated at the Indiana Women’s Prison, performances on the original Harry Partch instrumentarium, and concerti with the National Orchestra of Turkmenistan. Her debut album, featuring a solo-simultaneous realization of John Cage's "45' for a speaker" and "27'10.554" for a percussionist" was released on Mode Records label in 2017, and her second album Perishable Structures launched on the New Focus Recordings label in 2020. She is an assistant professor of music and Chair of percussion studies at the University of Washington.


UW Gamelan Ensemble 

Gamelan are ensembles largely composed of gongs and keyed percussion instruments.  Although many such ensembles are found throughout Southeast Asia, gamelan are primarily associated with musical cultures on the Indonesian islands of Java, Madura, Bali, and Lombok.  In Java, the most preferred material is bronze, but iron and brass are also used as less expensive alternatives. 

Although different gamelan may vary slightly in their tunings, most gamelan music in central and east Java uses a five-tone tuning system called sléndro or a seven-tone tuning system called pélog.  There are a number of modes, or pathet, in each tuning system.  Tonight’s performance features compositions in pélog using about half of the instruments of the UW School of Music’s bronze gamelan, which is named Hapsari Kusumajaya (Heavenly Nymph Flower Power). 

Most Javanese gamelan include four groups of instruments.  The large gongs of various sizes mark the musical structure of repeated gong cycles.  The largest hanging gongs (gong) mark the very end of each cycle while the smaller hanging gongs (kempul) and horizontal gongs (kenong, kethuk, and kempyang) divide the cycle into phrases.  A family of one-octave metallophones (saron, demung, and slenthem) plays a skeletal version of the melody.  A third group of instruments elaborates the melody and includes other metallophones (peking, gendèr, and gendèr panerus), the xylophone (gambang), gong-chimes (bonang and bonang panerus), flute (suling), bowed fiddle (rebab), and voice, although sometimes the saron, demung and slenthem elaborate the melody as well.  The drums (kendhang), the fourth group, control the tempo. 

Heri Purwanto, a highly respected teacher, performer, and master musician of Javanese gamelan, comes from a family of musicians in Wonogiri, Central Java.  After graduating from the college level academy (now Institut Seni Indonesia) in Surakarta, Central Java, at the top of his class in 2000, he taught gamelan at the University of California-Berkeley from 2001 to 2004 and directed the Berkeley-based ensemble Gamelan Sari Raras.  Since returning to Java in 2004, Heri has continued his work as an artist, building and running an arts studio in his community as well as performing as a musician throughout Indonesia, as well as in Singapore, Thailand, China, and across the United States.  He has been a Visiting Artist in the Ethnomusicology Program at the University of Washington in 2011, 2014, and 2019 and has performed with the Seattle-based ensemble Gamelan Pacifica.  From 2014 to 2016 he taught gamelan at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where he was in residence on a Fulbright award during the 2014-2015 year. 

Christina Sunardi, this evening’s dancer, is an associate professor in the Ethnomusicology Program in the School of Music at the University of Washington and Chair of the Department of Dance.  Her interests include performance, identity, spirituality and ethnography in Indonesia.  Dr. Sunardi has been studying and performing Javanese arts since 1997 in Indonesia and the United States, earning her Ph.D. in music from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007.  She began her studies with master artists Ki Suhardi, Nugraha, V. Renaningsih, Djoko Waluyo, Heri Purwanto, Leny Tri Astuti, and Ki Midiyanto, focusing on central Javanese music and dance.  Since 2005, she has pursued east Javanese performing arts, studying with Budi Utomo, Djupri, Kusnadi, Muliono, M. Soleh Adi Pramono, Sumi’anah, and B. Supriono Hadi Prasetya in the regency of Malang. 

Heri Purwanto’s residency has been made possible with the generous support of the University of Washington Southeast Asia Center under the directorship of Celia Lowe, the School of Music under the directorships of Joel Durand and the late JoAnn Taricani, and Christina Sunardi’s Adelaide D. Currie Cole Endowed Professorship in the School of Music at the University of Washington. 

UW Steelband

The UW steelband was founded by Ray Holman, who served as Visiting Artist at the UW School of Music from 1998 to 2000.  It is directed by Ethnomusicology professor Shannon Dudley, who has played with numerous steelbands in Trinidad and performs in Seattle with Dingolay. The UW steelband’s repertoire emphasizes Caribbean dance styles, including calypso, soca and salsa

Shannon Dudley, professor of Ethnomusicology, holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He has conducted research in Trinidad and Tobago, focusing on the history and music of steelbands. More recent research interests include the musical geography of Santurce, Puerto Rico, 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 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.  In Seattle, Dudley performs on steel pan with Dingolay, and participates in the Seattle Fandango Project (SFP), a community music group that practices son jarocho. He helps to run the Ethnomusicology division's Visiting Artist program, which includes Community Artists in Residence from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere who participate in collaborations between local arts organizations and university programs.