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BYU to debut new percussion group, Gamelan Bintang Wahyu, at Nov. 21 concert

The Brigham Young University School of Music presents the debut of percussion group Gamelan Bintang Wahyu, with BYU’s Percussion Ensemble and Panoramic Steel in concert Friday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center.

Tickets are $11, or $8 with a BYU or student ID. To purchase tickets, call the Fine Arts Ticket Office at (801) 422-4322 or visit byuarts.com.

The Gamelan Bintang Wahyu is a new group at BYU, premiering in this concert. The group performs Balinese music portraying the diverse Indonesian culture.

In addition to being the first gamelan group at BYU, Gamelan Bintang Wahyu is the first group established in Utah. Shortly after arriving at BYU in the fall of 2007, BYU professor Jeremy Grimshaw, in coordination with his Balinese teacher, I Ketut Gede Asnawa, arranged for the purchase of special Indonesian instruments.

Throughout the course of several months, workers and artisans forged the giant gongs, tuned the bronze bars, carved and painted the elaborate frames and then packaged the instruments into 21 crates for the journey to Utah. The gamelan arrived in July, and students began learning to play the instruments at the beginning of this semester.

The group will present “Tari Puspanjali” by I Nyoman Windha, as well as traditional pieces “Capung Gantung” and “Topeng Keras.” The last piece will feature guest artist Edmundo Luna presenting a dance, as “Topeng Keras” is the opening of a masked dance drama.

The Percussion Ensemble performs an array of pieces for percussion instruments, from avant-garde to popular classics to ethnic and world music.

They will perform Christopher Deane’s “Verspertine Formations,” a piece that imitates the flight of birds; Susan Powell’s “The Gilded Cage” with the artistic image of a cage as performers click sticks in a square formation; and Kevin Bobo’s “Boboland,” a childlike piece with instruments from metal plates and ice bells to a harmonic box of junk, duck calls and cork popping.

Panoramic Steel is BYU’s own steel drum ensemble. Performers use all standard Trinidadian instruments crafted from 55 gallon barrels.

They will perform “Welcome Home” by Regan Brough, written for the homecoming of his older brother from a mission. The program will also include historical piece “Tamboo Bamboo” and modern piece “Pan in A Minor” by Aldwyn Lord Kitchener Roberts.

For more information, contact Ron Brough at (801) 422-3320.

Writer: Angela Fischer

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