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Music from the ivy halls

Southern Oregon University's music department will showcase the talents of its vocal and instrumental musicians.

Things get underway at 8 p.m. Monday, March 10, when the Southern Oregon University Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Theresa McCoy, presents "Journeys & Stories."

Featured works will include Christopher Rouse's "Ogoun Badagris" for percussion ensemble. This piece derives its inspiration from Haitian drumming patterns and features conga drums, log drums, tom toms, metal plates, lion's roar, cymbals and gourds.

There will be two pieces by John Cage: "Living Room Music" and "Double Music," co-written with Lou Harrison. "Gymel," by William Duckworth, employs four marimbas on a musical journey determined by the path each performer elects to follow in this minimalist piece.

The SOU Marimba Band also will perform several works from Guatemala.

An evening of instrumental jazz follows at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12. Featured groups will be the SOU Jazz Ensemble, directed by Martin Behnke, and the newly formed Little Big Band. The 18-piece Jazz Ensemble will perform standard big-band fare and a new original piece by director Martin Behnke. The 11-piece Little Big Band will play music written expressly for this kind of group, as well as modern jazz standards.

The 55-member SOU Symphonic Band will present "Sonic Impressions" at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 13, under the direction of Cynthia Hutton. The concert features works that reflect painting, architecture and legend.

The program includes a tone poem by German composer Ralph Ruden, "The Dreams of Oenghus," John Gibson's "Resting in the Peace of His Hands," Norman Dello Joio's "Scenes from the Louvre" and Leemand's "The March of the Belgian Paratroopers." Also featured will be SOU oboe instructor Kristin Kessler performing Rimsky-Korsakov's Variation on a Theme by Glinka for oboe and wind instruments.

The Jefferson State Choral Coalition will feature guest artist Beth Baker for its "Your Love Has Lifted Me Higher" concert at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 15. Kirby Shaw directs the 45-person university/community ensemble, and instrumentalists will back up Baker on ballads, gospel, jazz, classic rock and Broadway show tunes.

All concerts will be held in the SOU Music Recital Hall, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Tickets are $8 for general admission for all shows except for the concert with Beth Baker, which is $15, and all profits will go toward an endowed scholarship fund for SOU music majors. Students are admitted to all concerts for free.

Tickets and season passes are available at the Music Box Office prior to the performance or by calling 552-6101. See www.sou.edu/music.

The Southern Oregon University Jazz Ensemble will perform on March 11. - Photo courtesy of SOU