Percussion ensemble prepares for busy season

BY ELLEN ROSSOW
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Members of MSUM’s percussion ensemble “Fuego Tropical” pose with their instruments.

Members of MSUM’s percussion ensemble “Fuego Tropical” pose with their instruments.

The MSUM percussion ensemble, “Fuego Tropical,” has a big season ahead of them.

This past Saturday, the ensemble performed at the Hjemkomst Center as part of an event that showcased a plethora of groups from different cultures from around the world.

“Fuego Tropical” although it is MSUM-based, spends its falls focused on music that is not native to the area.

Since its founding in 2003, “Fuego Tropical” has rotated between Brazilian and West African music.

Because the group is focused on West African music this semester, the group, which is generally a percussion-focused group becomes more than that for their performances.

“You can’t do African drumming unless you dance the part,” Kenyon Williams, the professor in charge of the ensemble said.

Williams knows about the music from these other cultures from first hand experience, as he was on sobatical in Trinidad and Guana last year.

Not only does the group have to dance during their performances, but they also sing during parts of their music.

The ensemble is very honored to be invited to play alongside the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony this December.

According to Williams, “Fuego Tropical” is the only student instrumental group invited to perform, and this is their second time being invited.

While the concerts are holiday events, Williams promises they will not be just average Christmas concerts.

According to Williams, the group will be showcasing music with a “Christmassy steel drum vibe,” and will be adding “unique color and tropical spin to the songs.”

The performances are going to be filled with “energy  and exciting music.”

The shows with the F-M symphony will be on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.  at the Fargo Theatre and Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.

Both of these performances have typically been sold out in the past.

“Fuego Tropical” also will perform this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Weld along with faculty and the choirs and promises audience members a “collage of cultures.”

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