Percussion Ensemble

The Humboldt State Percussion Ensemble is dedicated to the performance of classical, contemporary, experimental, and world music, and provides many varied performance opportunities for percussionists at all skill levels. The Percussion Ensemble is divided into two groups - the Humboldt State World Percussion Group and the HSU Contemporary Percussion Ensemble. The Humboldt State World Percussion Group performs the music of Cuba, Brasil, and West-Africa on indigenous instruments. This ensemble prides itself in performing authentic transcriptions of traditional Afro-Cuban folkloric music, Brasilian Samba-Reggae and Samba-Batucada, and both the Ewe and the Mandeng traditions of West African dance-drumming music.

The Contemporary Percussion Ensemble performs classical, contemporary, and experimental literature for percussion instruments, with special attention given to 20th century composers such as John Cage, Lou Harrison, Amadeo Roldan, Carlos Chavez, Edgard Varese, and Steve Reich. The ensemble takes special pride in presenting authentic and historically correct interpretations of the true classics in the percussion ensemble repertoire, and their instrumentation often includes the usage of vintage and custom made instruments. The ensemble also presents a wide variety of contemporary fusion music for percussion ensemble incorporating percussion orchestras consisting of almost every percussion instrument imaginable.

In fact, Humboldt State University is home to one of the largest collections of percussion instruments on the north coast of California, including Noble & Cooley snare drums, Yamaha and Gretsch drumsets, Zildjian and Sabian cymbals, Ludwig Timpani, Musser xylophones, vibraphones, & marimbas, Deagan chimes, Fall Creek orchestra bells, a custom-made Marimba One five-octave marimba, and a custom-made Marimba One four-octave xylophone (hand-made in Arcata, California - the home of Humboldt State University).