Concert Spotlight Performance

Featuring submitted video performances
from Vic Firth's family of artists and educators!

"Martian Tribes, mvt 2" by Emmanuel Séjourné
    Performed by The Univerity of Missouri Graduate Percussion Ensemble
    Ryan Borden, Ian Derrickson, Jeff Hewitt and Skip Thompson

Mallet Selection for this Piece:

Robert Van Sice Signature Keyboard
Medium. The most popular model in the series‚ this mallet covers the entire range of the marimba and produces a singing sound that is full of life.
L = 17"
  [enlarge photo]

About the piece:

origine: martian tribes
I like science fiction and for me Percussionists are always "Martians" (or from another planet) if we compare them with other instrumentalists. There is no particular compositional technique involved: only instinct for a good piece (I tried) and good show for the audience."
     – E. Séjourné

About the composer:

Fascinated by the relations between music and other performing arts, M. Séjourné started composing stage music as early as 1984. He has written pieces for the Théâtre des Drapiers, the Wallgraben Theater ( Germany), the MAL/TJP Company, with which he won the prize for Best Stage Music at the Festival d’Avignon off in 1985 for the show La Légende Des Siècles, inspired by Victor Hugo’s work. In 1988, on the occasion of the Bimillenium of the City of Strasbourg, he composed the music for Les Envahisseurs for the Ballet du Rhin. He also collaborated to musical pieces for France-Culture and for TV channels, including ARD, ZDF and ARTE.

Acclaimed by members of the percussion community, his works have been played by Bob Van Sice, Nancy Zeltsman, Marta Klimasara, Katarzyna Mycka, Jean Geoffroy, the Amsterdam Percussion Group, Drumming (Portugal). His passion for the stage has led him to write and compose Planète Claviers for the Percussions Claviers de Lyons, a piece commissioned for the Festival Gramme, directed by Nicolas Ramond. This wild and unusual show has been performed over 120 times between 1998 and 2001.

Eager to bring together improvised, contemporary and popular music, he wrote Famim in 2001, for the famous jazz pianist Michael Borstslap and the Amsterdam Percussion Group.

In 2002, he composed a Concerto for Three Percussionnists and Harmony (a commission from Adim for the Harmonie of Héricourt), which has since then been performed by the Orchestra of La Coruna ( Spain) and the Rundfunk Blasorchester Leipzig. Always fond of blending various genres, he composed the music for the fireworks for the National Celebration of Luxembourg in 2002. On a request from American percussionists Gary Cook and John Pennington, he wrote Book of Gemmes, a piece for mixed choir and two percussionists, created on November 20th 2003 in Louisville, USA.

Eager to share and communicate his passion, Emmanuel Séjourné is also Head of the Percussions Department of the Strasbourg Conservatory, in charge of pedagogy. He teaches a class of keyboard percussions, the only advanced level course in this field in France.

He is the author of a vibraphone method (Editions Leduc) and of several pieces for percussion (Edition Lemoine, Honeyrock, Combre, Zimmermann, Alfonce Percussions). He was nominated Pedagogic Adviser to the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs, for the preparation of the 94/95 Teaching Certificate. His Master Classes are extremely sucessful in every major music conservatories in Europe, Asia an the USA.

He is often invited to sit on jurys for numerous international competitions (Interpretation competitions of Geneva, Luxembourg Percussion Competition, Marimba International Japan Competition…)

Emmanuel Séjourné is currently composing a work for the Taiwanese Ju Percussion Group (to be premiered on March 28th, 2004 in Taiwan) as well as a musical comedy commissioned by the Théâtre National du Luxembourg (opening in 2005).


About the performers:

Ryan Borden
Ryan Borden is an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Missouri where he teaches percussion methods, undergraduate applied lessons, assists with the University Percussion Ensemble, is the percussionist for the MU New Music Ensemble and the drumset player for the MU Creative Improvisation Ensemble.   In addition to his work at the university, he is a percussion specialist at a local school and is active as a private instructor and performer throughout central Missouri.  Previously, he was a sought after percussionist in central Illinois with a substantial private studio and was a marching percussion technician at several regional high schools.   He also acted as the first call extra for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.  His other orchestral appearances include the 9th Street Symphony Orchestra, the Columbia Civic Orchestra, and the Missouri Symphony.  While completing his master’s degree, he was the sole winner of the 2010 University of Missouri Concerto Competition where he performed Affirmation: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra by Andrew Beall with the University Philharmonic.  Beyond his experience on the symphonic stage, Ryan has performed extensively in new music settings, working closely with renowned composer Martin Bresnick and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Roger Reynolds as a performer at the Mizzou New Music Festival in Columbia, MO.  As an educator and clinician, Ryan has presented classes for Music For All and Bands of America at their Summer Symposium and for L.e.a.P (now Evolution) indoor drum line’s Camp Drum.  He holds performance degrees from Illinois State University and the University of Missouri.  His primary instructors include Glenn Kotche, Jeff Hoke, Roger Braun, David Collier, and Julia Gaines.

Ian Derrickson  
A native of north central Missouri Ian graduated in 2008 with a B.S. in education from Missouri Western State University under the direction of Dr. Dennis Rogers, and adjunct professors Tracy Thomas and Kevin Bobo. He has played with various groups in the area including the St. Joseph Symphony and the Fountain City Brass Band. From 2009-2011 he attended the University of Missouri, Columbia under the direction of Julia Gaines and played with the university's New Music Ensemble under the direction of Stefan Freund. He is currently serving at an International Christian School in Caracas, Venezuela.

Jeff Hewitt
Jeff Hewitt currently serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Arizona School of Music where he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance.  Hewitt’s assistantship responsibilities include teaching undergraduate percussion lessons, instructing the percussion methods course, and coaching the percussion ensemble.  While studying with Norman Weinberg, he also performs with the Malleus Trio among other ensembles.  Hewitt received a Master of Music from the University of Missouri in 2011 under the guidance of Julia Gaines.  While at Mizzou, he worked as a research assistant for Dr. Gaines’ research on objective grading of 4-mallet marimba literature.  In 2005, Hewitt received a Bachelor of Music Education from Kansas State University where he studied with Kurt Gartner.  Recent performances include appearances at the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy in Lubbock, TX, and the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival in Columbia, MO.  From 2006-2009, he taught middle school & high school band at McPherson (KS) USD 418 and served on the adjunct faculties of Central Christian College, McPherson College, and Tabor College.  Hewitt is originally from Overland Park, KS, and currently resides in Tucson, AZ.

Skip Thompson
Skip Thompson currently serves as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Missouri where he directs the World Percussion Ensemble and MU Steel, the university’s steel pan band. Mr. Thompson received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in percussion performance from MU with Dr. Julia Gaines and also completed a year of study in the renown Northern Illinois University Steel Pan Program under the direction of pan virtuoso Liam Teague and master pan tuner and arranger Cliff Alexis. During his time at NIU, Mr. Thompson was featured on Mr. Teague’s album, Open Window. As a pannist, Mr. Thompson has performed with Mr. Teague, Andy Narell , Tom Miller, and Chris Tanner, as well as being a guest clinician and artist at the University of Missouri and Mineral Area Community College.

An active percussionist in the mid-Missouri area, Mr. Thompson is a permanent member of the Banana Oil Pan Band, which travels extensively in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas. He has also played with many local Columbia artists, including Nick and the Fireflies and Phylshawn Johnson. In the fine art realm, Mr. Thompson plays in the percussion section of the Columbia Civic Orchestra and has also performed with the Ninth Street Philharmonic and the Columbia Handbell Ensemble.  During his time at MU, Mr. Thompson was a member of the with the MU Concert Jazz Band, where he received two Outstanding Soloist awards at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival and debuted his big band composition “Refractions” on the MU Jazz Program’s 2011 CD Tunnel Vision.

Mr. Thompson is an accomplished educator. He runs Skip Thompson Studio, a private percussion studio based out of Jefferson City. He currently has 16 students ranging from 8th to 12th grade who have consistently received top honors at MSHSAA State Solo and Ensemble contests and the Jefferson City Middle School Music Festival. He also serves as a percussion tech and arranger for the frontline ensemble of the Jefferson City High School Drum Line, which has won the Mozingo Drumline Festival six times, including two Best Frontline Ensemble wins.