Last Saturday night, the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center was busy as can be with a variety of performances. Besides a few other student recital performances earlier in the day, there was a performance of the current spring musical, Aida, and the senior recital of percussionist Rich Klimowicz.
Joined by his friends and family, everyone in attendance was excited to see this performance, which is a culmination of all of his efforts over the period of his collegiate career. Klimowicz, who is currently seeking to pursue a masters in percussion, executed a recital worthy of any graduate level musician. First on the program was the 1991 ground-breaking multi-percussion solo Edge by Bruce Hamilton. This epic fifteen minute piece that included an audio CD accompaniment got the program started on a very high note.
His next piece was “Letters From Home,” a Pat Metheny composition that was translated onto the vibraphone and sounded both beautiful and serene. Following that was a marimba solo written by the famous Serbian percussionist, Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic. This solo was interesting because it also included some singing that Klimowicz sang flawlessly.
After that, Klimowicz was joined on stage by fellow percussionists Matt Bracciante, Brian Doherty (who together make up the percussion trio Portal Percussion), Luke Helker, and percussion professor James Armstrong. The group performed a ragtime piece called Log Cabin Blues, which was originally written by George Hamilton Green – who is widely considered to be the man that popularized the xylophone – and was transcribed for small mallet ensemble by Bob Becker, who is arguably the greatest xylophone player ever. Like most ragtime pieces, it was very fast and very fun.
After what already seemed like a marathon of music, the final piece on the program was another piece by Zivkovic called Uneven Souls (sometimes referred to as Sta Vidis to). This piece was a seventeen minute chamber piece that included a marimba solo performed by Klimowicz and backing percussion by Doherty, Armstrong, and Bracciante. It also featured William Landin who added vocals to the piece. Everyone was taken back by the sheer energy the emanated from all of the performers as this bombastic piece shook the very core of the VPAC. Afterwords, Klimowicz jokingly said “Wow…That’s a lot of notes.”
Klimowicz has already begun to make a name for himself in the Lancaster community as a member of Portal Percussion, a percussion trio that have been involved in a few first Friday and third friday performances for Music Everyone. They just recently performed with the Music For Everyone Community Choir at this year’s Festival of Voices that took place this past Friday night and this Saturday, the group will be performing at Tellus 360 along with some children involved in the S.W.A.N. non-profit organization.
After an extremely enjoyable and impressive recital, one can only wonder where the road of percussion will take Klimowicz as well as his percussion trio. I think it’s safe to say though that it can only get better for them. For more information on the Portal Percussion Trio, please visit their website at: www.portalpercussiontrio.com.