Guest artist Valerie Naranjo to join Cameron University Percussion Ensemble in concert

Valerie Naranjo, expert in African percussion music and percussionist with the Broadway production of “The Lion King,” will join the Cameron University Percussion Ensemble (CUPE) in concert on Tuesday, October 26, 2010, at 7:30 PM at the Cameron University Theatre. A reception hosted by Friends of Cameron Percussion will follow the concert in the Cameron Theatre Foyer. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students, with Cameron University faculty/students/staff admitted free with proper identification.

The Cameron University Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Dr. James Lambert, is comprised of Cameron student percussion majors and non-majors. Current members include Grant Johnson, Kimberly Garza, Quinton Williams, Natasha Branch, Sabrina Harrell, Micheal Barnes, Christopher Turner, Leon Randle, Zach Wallace, Michael Mithlo and Andy Vitense.

The concert will feature a variety of percussion repertoire reflecting contemporary composers for the unique percussion ensemble idiom as well as a special set of music featuring the Cameron University Pan Express, the official Cameron University steel drum ensemble. The CUPE will perform “Highlife” by Phil Faini, “La Llaronoa” by Ruth Jeanne, and Naranjo’s “Abibigromma.” The latter will feature a guest performance by the Cameron University Centennial Singers, conducted by Doris Lambert.

The CUPE will also perform “Marimba Spiritual” featuring Grant Johnson on marimba, “Rhythmitis” by John Beck featuring Kimberly Garza on multiple percussion, and “Chromatic Foxtrot” by George Green featuring Micheal Barnes on xylophone. Johnson will also be featured as xylophone soloist on “Rain” by George Green. The Cameron University Pan Express will perform steel drum favorites including Mark Ford’s “Nightwatch, Night Jive” and Natasha Branch’s arrangement of “I Want You Back.”

Valerie Naranjo is known for her pioneering efforts in West African keyboard percussion music, having researched and studied African percussion in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Morocco, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.. She plays percussion for NBC's Saturday Night Live Band and has recorded and performed with Broadway's “The Lion King,” The Philip Glass Ensemble, David Byrne, The Paul Winter Consort, Tori Amos, Airto Moreira, and the international percussion ensemble, MEGADRUMS.

Valerie Naranjo’s guest appearance is generously co-sponsored by the Cameron University Friends of Percussion, Vic Firth Inc., and the Zildjian Corporation.

For more information, contact the Cameron University Department of Music at 580-2440.

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October 7, 2010

PR#10-188