#33 Robert Van Sice- Percussion Faculty at Yale University, Peabody Conservatory & Curtis Institute of Music
The Percussion Collective Robert van Sice emerged from one of the world’s foremost student percussion ensembles, the Yale Percussion Group. Over the past two decades, Prof. van Sice and his students created a distinctly insightful approach to the performance of percussion chamber music, challenging the limits of excellence and thrilling audiences. As the format of the Percussion Collective Robert van Sice is an assemblage of talent rather than a fixed ensemble, it morphs from an intimate duo to a large scale ensemble providing programs for a wide variety of audiences and venues.
The group’s mission is three-fold:
perform today’s finest quality percussion chamber music with extensive preparation and engaging performance practice
disseminate the innovative pedagogical concepts of Prof. van Sice both through master classes and web-based learning
use percussion as a vehicle for social change in partnership with programs around the United States and abroad
Upcoming gigs mentioned are Damon playing with the Atomic Funk Project in a special Prince vs. Michael Jackson vs. Stevie Wonder show at the Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday Aug 17th at 8pm. Tentitave GMA performance with Marcos on Friday morning the 18th. Also, Friday the 18th Friend of the show, Marcos Lopez will be playing with Gerardo Contino at the Highline Ballroom. Sunday the 20th Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez from last week's episode will be performing with Tipica 73 at Orchard Beach for the Salsa Sundays concert.
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Educational spotlight this week is featuring Stanton Moore's Spirit of New Orleans (SONO) drum camp. Product spotlight is the Bass Drum Lift by Arti Dixson. You can check out some videos on how it works and the benefits here.
The first piece of music Robert refers to that was written for him is Spirit Festival with Lamentations by James Wood. He also mentions that he really enjoyed playing Mahler's 2nd Symphony "Resurrection" which you can watch a performance of here.....
Robert gives credit to Andrew Tracey for learning some of the history of the marimba. You can check out more info on the Chopi tribe and their instrument the Timbila from Mozambique by clicking here. You can also watch Venancio Mbande and his 7 year old son perform on the Timbila and you can hear the buzz that Robert refers to...
Robert credits Dean Witten with cultivating a lot of his high school music interest which has turned into a career. You too can study from Dean at Rowan University in New Jersey. He went to college first at Oberlin in Ohio and then went to Cleveland Institute to study with Cloyd Duff. Here is an example of an Iannis Xenakis piece which is the composer Robert refers to as to having written eccentric pieces of music.
Robert was fortunate to travel to Japan to study with the marimba master Keiko Abe. Here is her performing a piece she composed titled, Michi, and another one called, Wind Across Mountains, where she uses 6 mallets.
Robert lived in Belgium and traveled through Europe for a decade and performed the first solo marimba concert in 1989 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
When we get to the "What's in your Stickbag' segment he refers to his signature mallets with Vic Firth, but also talks about some exclusive ones due to come out, but also acknowledges the great Leigh Howard Stevens and the strides he made in mallet making.
Robert Van Sice endorses and is extremely pleased to have the support of these wonderful percussion companies: Adams Musical Instruments, Pearl drums and percussion, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads and Black Swamp Percussion.