Modern American Percussion Concerti

Maurice Wright composer
Steven Stucky composer
Evan Ziporyn composer

Lee Hinkle percussion
Penn’s Woods Music Festival Orchestra
Gerardo Edelstein conductor
University of Maryland Wind Orchestra
Dr. Michael Votta conductor
Pennsylvania State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Dr. Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin conductor

Release Date: April 5, 2024
Catalog #: RR8101
Format: Digital
21st Century
Concertos
Orchestra
Percussion

Owing to the collaboration and performance of hundreds of students, faculty, and staff collaborators, the Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra, the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra, and the Penn State University Wind Ensemble perform alongside Lee Hinkle to acclaim the percussion concerti of three modern American composers. Hinkle meets the evolving modal complexity of Maurice Wright’s Concertpiece for Marimba and Orchestra with the same central drumset vivacity that breathes life into Evan Ziporyn’s Impulse Control, while still saving space for the solemn anthem layered in the rich solo instrumentation of Steven Stucky’s Concerto for Percussion and Wind Orchestra. Whether on marimba, drumset, or any percussive tool between, Hinkle shines solo in the seven-year cumulation of a monumental musical undertaking, coming together as MODERN AMERICAN PERCUSSION CONCERTI.

This project was made possible in part by a Faculty Research Grant from the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture.

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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Concertpiece for Marimba and Orchestra: I. Vivo Maurice Wright Lee Hinkle, marimba soloist; Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra | Gerardo Edestein, conductor 8:41
02 Concertpiece for Marimba and Orchestra: II. Adagio Maurice Wright Lee Hinkle, marimba soloist; Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra | Gerardo Edestein, conductor 5:02
03 Concertpiece for Marimba and Orchestra: III. Brillante Maurice Wright Lee Hinkle, marimba soloist; Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra | Gerardo Edestein, conductor 11:19
04 Concerto for Percussion and Wind Orchestra: I. Energico Steven Stucky Lee Hinkle, percussion soloist; University of Maryland Wind Orchestra | Michael Votta, Jr., conductor 3:21
05 Concerto for Percussion and Wind Orchestra: II. Moderato delicato, quasi senza tempo Steven Stucky Lee Hinkle, percussion soloist; University of Maryland Wind Orchestra | Michael Votta, Jr., conductor 5:18
06 Concerto for Percussion and Wind Orchestra: III. Vivace Steven Stucky Lee Hinkle, percussion soloist; University of Maryland Wind Orchestra | Michael Votta, Jr., conductor 3:40
07 Concerto for Percussion and Wind Orchestra: IV. Grave (To the Victims of September 11, 2001) Steven Stucky Lee Hinkle, percussion soloist; University of Maryland Wind Orchestra | Michael Votta, Jr., conductor 4:16
08 Concerto for Percussion and Wind Orchestra: V. Gioioso Steven Stucky Lee Hinkle, percussion soloist; University of Maryland Wind Orchestra | Michael Votta, Jr., conductor 3:22
09 Impulse Control (Concerto for Drum Set and Wind Ensemble): I. Evan Ziporyn Lee Hinkle, drum set soloist; Penn State University Wind Ensemble | Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin, conductor 3:57
10 Impulse Control (Concerto for Drum Set and Wind Ensemble): II. Evan Ziporyn Lee Hinkle, drum set soloist; Penn State University Wind Ensemble | Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin, conductor 15:14

This project was made possible by The Percussion Department Endowed Excellence Fund and in part by a Faculty Research Grant from the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture.

Cover Art Photo Chase Gutierrez

Concertpiece for Marimba and Orchestra
Recorded June 2022 at the Recital Hall, Penn State School of Music in State College PA
Recording Session Producer Maurice Wright
Recording Session Engineer, Editing & Mixing Curtis Craig

Concerto for Percussion and Wind Orchestra
Recorded October 2016 at the Dekelboum Concert Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland in College Park MD
Recording Session Producer Michael Votta, Jr.
Recording Session Engineer, Editing & Mixing Antonino D’Urzo

Impulse Control
Recorded April 2023 at the Esber Rehearsal Hall, Penn State School of Music in State College PA
Recording Session Producer Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin
Recording Session Engineer, Editing & Mixing Curtis Craig

Impulse Control was funded in part by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, Kurt Doles, director, and the Bowling Green State University Wind Symphony, Kenneth Thompson, Director, at the College of Musical Arts of BGSU. Additional funding was provided by a consortium of percussionists and university band programs.

Consortium Members:
Roger Braun & Andrew Trachsel, Ohio University
Ian Ding, University of Michigan
Lee Hinkle & Michael Votta, University of Maryland
Ricardo Flores, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kenneth Thompson, Bowling Green State University

Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

VP of A&R Brandon MacNeil
A&R Ivana Hauser

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Lee Hinkle

Percussionist

Dr. Lee Hinkle’s percussion playing has been called “rock-steady” by the Washington Post. He is the principal percussionist with the 21st Century Consort and he made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2014 as a concerto soloist. Hinkle’s other notable performances have included the National Symphony, Columbus Symphony, and American Institute for Musical Studies Orchestra (Graz, Austria) as well as national U.S. tours with Bebe Neuwirth, Bernadette Peters, and the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist at three Percussive Arts Society International Conventions and is an active commissioner and curator of contemporary music for percussion.

Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra Members

VIOLINS
James Lyon, concertmaster
Joanne Feldman
John Brauer
Michael Divino
Ian Duh
Michael Fisher
Gregory Glessner
Sarah Hamm
Emily Long
Carissa McQuaid
Mark Minnich
Sally Minnich
Allison Smith
Spenser Stover
May Zia
Rachel Zimmerman

VIOLAS
Melinda Daestch, principal
John Roxburgh
Anna Dye
Taylor Shea
Andrea Alvarado
Liz King
Isabel Healy

CELLOS
Kim Cook, principal
Stephen Feldman
Carol Lyon
Jonathan Dexter
Hudson Webber
Annabelle Lecy

BASSES
Joshua Davis, principal
Justin Dorsey
Alexander McLaughlin
Benjamin Byham

FLUTES
Naomi Seidman, principal
Cathy Herrera

OBOES
Andreas Oeste, principal
Robyn Dixon Costa

BASSOONS
Daryl Durran, principal
Reed Hanna

HORNS
Lisa Bontrager, principal
Sarah Schouten

HARP
Julia Scott

LIBRARIAN
Andrea Alvarado

COMPANY MANAGER
Tomas Garcias Duenas

University of Maryland Wind Orchestra Members

FLUTES
Megan Gryder
Alisa Oh
Grace Wang

OBOES
Amanda Dusold
Angela Kazmierczak
Santiago Vivas-Gonzalez

CLARINETS
Robert Durie
Nathan Dorsey
Gabe Ferreira
Bethany Lueers
Melissa Morales

BASSOONS
Lauren Kantelis
Brian Kennedy

HORNS
Grace Chan
Michael Fries
Amanda Fry
Ben Yehle
Al Rise
Ben Yehle

TRUMPETS
Alexis Kalivretenos
Ben Lostocco
Ross McCool
Isaac Segal
Frank Stroup

TROMBONES
Dan Pendley
Nathan Reynolds
Rich Matties

BASS TROMBONE
Matt Myers

TUBA
Joshua Lewis
Nick Obrigewitch

PIANO
Szu-Yi Li

PERCUSSION
Lauren Floyd
Jessica Kincaid
Anthony Konstant
David Lu
Matt Miller

Penn State University Wind Ensemble Members

FLUTES
Joshua Benitez, Alto
Abigail Wobber
Megan Russell

OBOE
Katelyn Estep

ENGLISH HORN
Abigail Alexander

CLARINETS
Rebecca Reeder
Gregory Glatzer
Chandler Cleric
Michael Dews

BASS CLARINET
Samantha Elliott

BASSOONS
Bradley Sarmiento
Benjamin Hochman

SAXOPHONES
Shannon Donahoe, Soprano
Aaron Kaufman, Alto
Luke Kranyak, Tenor
Lauren Ackerman, Baritone

FRENCH HORNS
Ryan Peterson
Samantha Duhé-Jones
Bryan Manzano
Ashley Godwin

TRUMPETS
Hayden Cameron
Tanner Deyo
David Hutchinson

TROMBONES
Andrew Zall
Michael Thomas
Isaiah Ebersole
Jacob Green

BASS TROMBONES
Erik Barber

EUPHONIUM
Samuel Fisher
William Jones

TUBAS
David Popkin
Jaden Adkins

PERCUSSION
Ross Campanella
Gage Kroljic
Isabella Scotti
Kyle Scully
Caden Werner
Zach Wilson

BASS
Frank Clocke

PIANO
Annie Huang

Notes

The Concertpiece was written for my longtime friend Will Hudgins, for whom I have composed other music in the past. The first movement is filled with permutations and combinations on a simple phrase heard at the outset and repeated in increasingly complex contrapuntal settings. The middle movement links the rather formal first movement to a free-ranging final movement that undergoes several marked shifts in character. The two outer movements are based on a 12-tone set.

— Maurice Wright

The huge array of solo instruments in my Concerto for Percussion and Wind Orchestra is the result of a request from the soloist, Gordon Stout, not to limit myself mainly to the marimba (of which he is, of course, a famous exponent) but instead to range widely across all the percussion families. There are a number of timbral groupings: wood and drum sounds in the first movement, set against boisterous, big-band-like riffs from the ensemble, for example; or marimba paired with steel drum as the lyrical voices in the slow second movement. The third movement, a scherzo, uses only keyboards — glockenspiel, xylophone, marimba — and it winks broadly at Strauss’s Til Eulenspiegel. The fourth movement turns to solemn, metallic resonances — gongs, Japanese temple bells, almglocken (tuned European cowbells) — and it sets these against the ominous heartbeat pattern of the bass drum. This movement reflects the somber atmosphere of fall 2001 more directly than I ever intended. Ordinarily I am skeptical of musical responses to outside events, and I never planned to write a piece “about” the attacks on September 11; yet, as I was writing this movement I asked myself why the music seemed so dark, so serious, and only then I realized that the world had thrust itself into my music whether I wanted it or not. Hence the dedication “To the victims of September 11, 2001,” added after the fourth movement was finished. The finale returns to the extroverted atmosphere of the first movement, with the soloist — now playing metal instruments that go “clunk” (agogo bells, Latin-American cowbells, brake drums, anvil) and “boing” (the spring from an automobile suspension) — trading riffs with the ensemble. The work closes with a return to the wood and skin sounds of the opening.

The concerto was commissioned in honor of Donald Hunsberger on the occasion of his retirement after nearly 40 years as director of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, by a consortium of his ex-students, many of the leading wind conductors across the United States and even abroad. The work was completed on November 30, 2001, and the percussionist Gordon Stout and the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble (Stephen Peterson, director) gave the first performance at the Eastman Theater in Rochester NY on February 6, 2002, with Hunsberger conducting.

— Steven Stucky

Drum set players are the only musicians who regularly sit on a “throne” — a small, adjustable, three-legged stool. The drum set gets its own room in a recording studio, usually airless and cramped, with a window just big enough to see the other musicians, aka the “isolation booth,” but private real estate nonetheless. In other words, the singular status of the drum set — in every musical setting — is unquestioned, certainly by drummers. And I agree with them. Like many composers, nowadays I write drum set parts into any and everything I’m allowed to, in orchestra pieces, wind ensemble works, even two operas. If the drummer rocks, the piece rocks, or, more precisely, if the drummer doesn’t, the piece cannot.

A drum set (drum-set? drumkit? trap set? can we come to consensus here?) is — literally and by lineage — a one-man percussion ensemble, and yet that very lineage — the ongoing innovations and virtuosic advancements of 20th and 21st century drum gods and goddesses, who collectively inspired Impulse Control — has gradually but unquestionably established the drum set as its own instrumental species, or at least genus: not just a set of drums and cymbals, different from a particular percussion set-up: a drum set, played from a throne.

More than an extremely efficient configuration, the drum set is the embodiment of time, groove, and cycle — 3 good things to center a piece of music around. In Impulse Control, the soloist is backed by five fellow percussionists, whose parts are generated by his initial Big Bangs: doubling, echoing, replicating, transforming, gradually coalescing into more orderly solar systems of polyrhythmic harmonies, from which a heterophony of melodies emerge. The cycles begin to interrupt themselves, and eventually the interruptions themselves become the cycles.

“Impulse control” is a very ambiguous phrase, from two words that themselves have multiple, contradictory meanings. Is an impulse by definition that which we cannot control, an urge, a desire, whether we act on it or not? Or is it the thing that controls us, the motivating force behind it all? In physics the impetus is irrelevant: an “impulse” is anything that forces a change in momentum. In audio engineering, “impulse response” (IR) is an indispensable tool in acoustic design and recording production, but the impulse itself — that which generates the IR is, as it turns out, an impossibility, an idealization, an infinite set of frequencies over an infinitesimally short span of time. Drums and cymbals — “non-pitched,” because they have too much pitch content — do a good job of functioning as all of the above.

Impulse Control is a companion piece to Mumbai, a tabla concerto I wrote for Sandeep Das in 2009, and which Dan Piccolo performed brilliantly for his doctoral recital in Ann Arbor in 2015. Piccolo is the real “impulse” behind the piece; he is also “Control,” in all senses and meanings of the words. My deep gratitude also to Kurt Doles, Kenneth Thompson, MACCM, BGSU Wind Symphony, and all the Consortium members.

­— Evan Ziporyn

This concerti project has been a monumental effort, taking place over the course of seven years and involving hundreds of students, faculty, and staff at two major universities: University of Maryland and Penn State University. I am indebted to all of these folks for their encouragement, artistry, and organizational efforts.

Thank you to . . .

Dan Armstrong for your support, ears at the concerts and recording sessions, and guidance and support throughout my first two years at Penn State. I couldn’t be more lucky to have such an excellent and supportive percussion professor predecessor at Penn State!

Russell Bloom for your leadership, guidance, and expert organizational skills as our Assistant Director in the School of Music and director of the Penn’s Woods Music Festival that were indispensable in bringing this project to fruition.

Curtis Craig for your expert engineering and recording skills throughout the concerti project.

Gregory Drane for your ears in the booth, and expert guidance and support during the Ziporyn recording sessions.

Antonino D’Urzo for your expert engineering and recording skills throughout the concerti project.

Gerardo Edelstein for your leadership from the podium and encouragement for both the live performance and subsequent recording session of the Wright during Penn’s Woods Music Festival 2022.

David Frego for your leadership as our director of the School of Music at Penn State and encouragement throughout the grant writing process to make this project come to fruition. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!

James Gates for your ears in the booth and organizational help during the Ziporyn recording sessions.

Leila Gil for your ears in the booth and organizational help during the Ziporyn recording sessions.

Kristen Gunderson for your love and support throughout the process as a best friend and spouse, and my entire family for their continued encouragement, love, and support.

Members of the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra, Penn State Wind Ensemble, and Penn’s Woods Music Festival Orchestra.

Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin for your leadership from the podium and encouragement for both the live performance and subsequent recording session of the Ziporyn with the Penn State Wind Ensemble during a very busy Spring 2023 semester at Penn State.

Penn State Percussion Studio for your excellent playing and support (so many instruments to move… so many hours of practice) throughout the concerti project process. #WEARE Percussion @ Penn State!

Michael Votta for your leadership from the podium and encouragement for both the live performance and subsequent recording session of the Stucky with the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra.

Maurice Wright for your encouragement and guidance throughout the process of learning your wonderful Concertpiece marimba concerto and for the time you spent to come to be a part of the performance and the recording sessions.

— Lee Hinkle