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Percussion Ensemble and UW Steel Band: "2023 Percussion Bash"

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 - 7:30pm
$10 all tickets. Tickets on sale soon.
Percussion instruments

The UW Percussion Ensemble (Bonnie Whiting, director) presents a year-end performance shared with the UW Steel Drum Band (Shannon Dudley, director).

Program Detail

The Steel Drum Band performs arrangements of calypso, salsa, reggae, soca, and other dance styles.

The Percussion Ensemble performs brand new music for percussion written by UW student composers and ensemble members. The group presents the world premiere performances of They Named Her Hurricane by DXARTS PhD student Chari Glogovac-Smith, Your Turn: A Family Game by UW MM percussion student/composition student Melissa Wang, and 4 1 Marimba by UW BM composition/percussion student Ryan Baker. Alongside these new works, the ensemble explores pieces with some element of performer-determination: Jenny Beck's By The Time We Look for It, Joe Moore III's Crescent, and finally, Arun Chandra's Cocker for percussion and tape, presented by the graduate percussion trio. 


The University of Washington Percussion Ensemble
Bonnie Whiting, director 

Her Name Was Hurricane (2023)-------------- Chari Glogovac-Smith (WORLD PREMIERE)

4 1 Marimba (2023)-------------------------- Ryan Baker (WORLD PREMIERE)

Crocker (1997) --------------------------Arun Chandra

By The Time We Look For It (2018) --------------------    Jenny Beck

 Your Turn - A Family Game (2023) ------------------------Melissa Wang (WORLD PREMIERE)

Joe W. Moore III Crescent-------------- (2021)

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

UW Steel Band
Shannon Dudley, director
(arrangements by Shannon Dudley, except where noted otherwise) 

Sugar Bum Bum (c. Aldwyn Roberts, aka Lord Kitchener)

Manicero (c. Moises Simón)

Leave Me Alone (c. Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis, aka Calypso Rose; arr. Anita Kumar)

Show Yuh Emotion (c. Andre Tanker)

Seven Thirty AM (c. and arr. Emily Silks)

Iron Love (c. Nailah Blackman, arr. Kimani Bishop)

Charlotte St. (c. Ray Holman)

The UW Percussion Ensemble

Connor Aksama, Ryan Baker, Logan Bellenkes, Scott Farkas, Abigail George, Simon Harty, Roseanna Martin, Tess Roberts, Ben Roe,  Grace Rosing, Alexander Place, Melissa Wang

Guest performer: Chari Glogovac-Smith 

We are thrilled to present three brand-new works for percussion ensemble written by UW student composers and ensemble members. Alongside these world premieres, we explore pieces with some element of performer-determination. Much of the sound world for each selection was carefully-crafted by the ensemble members themselves, reinforcing the UWPE’s mission to engage as generative creative musicians.

The UW Steelband

Kimani Bishop
Galin Hebert
Anita Kumar
Tess Roberts
Joseph Schafer
Jacob Schultz
Nicole Setiawan
Emily Silks
Travis Villegas
Melisa Wang

Guest percussionist: Marisol Berríos-Miranda

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 tends towards Caribbean dance styles, including calypso, soca and salsa, and students focus on achieving the rhythmic ensemble that this kind of dance music requires.




Many thanks to: the graduate student workers (Rose Martin and Melissa Wang), 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.

Program Notes

Her Name Was Hurricane
Chari Glogovac-Smith 

This mixed percussion piece affectionately called Hurricane in short, was composed in the beginning half of 2023. As Glogovac-Smith's entree into composing for percussion ensembles, Hurricane began with Glogovac-Smith playing each of the ensemble instruments one by one, exploring their sonic characteristics in their personal studio. These experiments lead the conceptual and compositional framing of the piece, which Glogovac-Smith loosely centered around the dynamic and complex unfolding of disaster. The piece includes fixed instruments and roving instruments, incorporating microphone dynamics and proximity effect as a compositional technique. This piece was created in collaboration with and for the UWPE. 

Chari Glogovac-Smith is an Emmy Nominated composer, performer, and intermedia artist. Using an evolving mixture of traditional and experimental techniques, Chari is dynamically exploring and illustrating various counterpoints between the human experience and society through sound, digital media, and performance.  

4 1 Marimba
Ryan Baker
4 1 Marimba is written for four people playing one marimba. This piece challenges the boundaries of classic marimba repertoire, by the expression of different hitting surfaces and extended techniques.

Ryan Baker is an undergraduate composition major and percussionist.


Arun Chandra
Text: Chris Mann

(The reason that something is an example, a fold (how many does it take to define a problem? (, a predicate)), an economy of virtual knowns, interrupts the idea of proof (those names of actions and events) that does a shy redundancy, a wave. Looks like a subject, but. I mean, is is-an-emergent-property-of-any-system-the increasing-probability-of-asking-a-right-question a question (a parasite that adapts) or no, a science of quantity, a legal? And the additions? A function. Of represents. Information after all is that failure of description, an immune system a la consciousnessed, a parody (a typical number (probability is a product of real numbers), a base maybe parity in bags) that dags as some inductive random, a negative it, sit. Like a tautology is a square of the propensity to explain any point-function as (random is just like absence) a factor (D) of phantom flickers, a sort of they-type time (it disappoints (dusts) description) of non-linear possibilities, an avvy quit. Shit. The pragmatics of ignorance - something (decorative) you do on my time (my reduction is smaller than your reduction coz I is a large number)—an abstract that, an example of itself, a me-too no-risk of refers picks up a difference on a stick (difference, the first good) and licks (self-evident (a judgement is a perfect rule)): dear sames, a limbo (game) replica in drag, as names (deduction is the administration of violence (credit is the history (interest) of words without history)): claims it (the altruist) I’s about. Conspires. In (surrogate) two’s. No doubt it queues.)

Many thanks to Al Otte for inviting me to write a piece for the Percussion Group Cincinnati. Thanks to Chis Mann for allowing me to use his text. Larry Polansky made the original recording of Chris Mann’s voice. Lori Blewett created the world in which I created this piece.
-Arun Chandra


By the Time We Look For It
Jenny Beck

“We are no longer in the light (by the time we look for it)...”
- Anne Carson, Plainwater

Your Turn - A Family Game
Melissa Wang
A game to play with your family, friends, cats, strangers, people who blocked you on Instagram and Facebook-- the list goes on!

Melissa Wang is a percussionist, composer and educator working on her MM degree at UW. Her recent accomplishment includes receiving the Research, Engagement and Academic Diversity Grant for her performance web series, “Percussion Works by Women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+.” 

Joe W. Moore III 

Crescent is written for percussion quintet. Each player has a relatively small setup, and each part is equally involved throughout the piece.

The literary definition of "crescent" is growth, increase, or development; this served as my inspiration as I composed the piece.

Notes on the instruments

The steel pan (sometimes called steel drum) was an innovation made by people of African descent in Trinidad for their carnival percussion ensembles. In the 19th century these ensembles typically featured call and response singing accompanied by drums, but colonial restrictions on drumming compelled them to try different things. Bamboo stamping tubes, known as tamboo bamboo, were popular in carnival during the early 20th century. In the 1930s tamboo bamboo ensembles began incorporating metal containers of various kinds, and at some point it was discovered that the surface of a metal drum could be tuned to different pitches. Musical rivalry between neighborhoods drove the rapid development of this idea into a new melodic instrument by the mid-1940s, and ambitious steel bands learned to play music of all kinds, from calypso to classical music. Today the steel pan is Trinidad and Tobago’s national instrument and steel bands feature many different types of pan, from the low booming basses to high-pitched tenors. Though steel pans are crafted by expert tuners who use oscilloscopes to perfect the overtones, most of them are still built from 55-gallon steel drums that are made for shipping oil, chemicals and other commodities. The steel band’s roots in making music from discarded metal are also reflected in the brake drum, a discarded car part whose ringing clanging rhythm is the heartbeat of the “engine room” alongside drumset, scratcher, congas and other percussion.


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.

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

Bonnie Whiting
Bonnie Whiting (she/her) performs, commissions, improvises, and composes new experimental music for percussion. Her work centers on the relationship between percussive sound and the voice, championing music for the speaking and singing percussionist. Exploring intersections of storytelling and experimental music, her work is often cross-disciplinary, integrating text, music, movement, and technology. She lives and works in Seattle, WA, where she is Chair of Percussion Studies and the Ruth Sutton Waters Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Music.

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 April of 2017. Her sophomore album Perishable Structures, launched by New Focus Recordings in 2020, places the speaking percussionist in the context of storytelling and features her own music as well as works by Vinko Globokar, Frederic Rzewski, Richard Logan-Greene, and Susan Parenti.

Recent work includes performances as a percussionist and vocalist with the Harry Partch Ensemble on the composer's original instrumentarium, and a commission from the Indiana State Museum's Sonic Expeditions series for her piece Control/Resist: a site-specific work for percussion, field recordings, and electronics. She recently performed in the small chamber group premiering the multimedia opera The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist (co-commissioned by The Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College, and Stanford Live at Stanford University.) Whiting has an ongoing relationship as a soloist with the National Orchestra of Turkmenistan via the U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Office, playing concerti in Ashgabat in 2017 and 2018. She performs frequently with percussionist Jennifer Torrence, giving concerts of new experimental work for speaking percussionists throughout Norway and the US. Her collaboration with multimedia artist Afroditi Psarra generated the album < null_abc>, released on the Zero Moon label in 2018, and their current project with designer Audrey Desjardins on transcoding data from IoT devices as performance received a 2019/20 Mellon Creative Fellowship. This project was explored in a workshop at the 2020 Transmediale Festival in Berlin, and currently lives as an interactive net art installation. In 2022 she premiered Through the Eyes(s): an extractable cycle of nine pieces for speaking/singing percussionist collaboratively developed with composer Eliza Brown and ten incarcerated women, and gave the first performance of a new percussion concerto by Huck Hodge with the Seattle Modern Orchestra. 2023-24 brings the world premiere of a new solo speaking percussionist work by composer Wang Lu, recording and performance projects of original improvised music with clarinetist James Falzone and pianist Lisa Cay Miller, concerto appearances with Northwest Sinfonietta, and continued work on the Ritual of Breath project.

Whiting has presented solo and small ensemble shows at The Stone in New York, the Brackish Series in Brooklyn, The Lilypad in Boston, The New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, at Hallwalls in Buffalo, the Tiny Park Gallery in Austin, The Wulf in LA, the Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati, The Grove Haus in Indianapolis, on the Wayward Music Series in Seattle, on tour throughout New Zealand, and at colleges and universities around the country. Whiting is a core member of the Seattle Modern Orchestra and the Torch Quartet, and she has collaborated with many of today's leading new music groups, including red fish blue fish percussion group, (George Crumb's Winds of Destiny directed by Peter Sellars and featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw for the Ojai Festival), eighth blackbird (the “Tune-in” festival at the Park Avenue Armory), the International Contemporary Ensemble (on-stage featured percussionist/mover in Andriessen's epic Die Materie at the Park Avenue Armory, and the American premiere of James Dillon's Nine Rivers at Miller Theatre), Talea Ensemble (Time of Music Festival in Finland), 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.) She attended Oberlin Conservatory (BM), the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM), and the University of California San Diego (DMA.). More at

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 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.  Between 2008 and 2015 American Sabor was exhibited in 18 cities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, first in its original version and later in a smaller version prepared in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service. Published as a book with University of Washington Press in 2018 (, American Sabor won the ARSC's 2019 prize for Best Historical Research in Recorded Rock and Popular Music.

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.