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Percussion Ensemble Literature

“Canadian Percussion Repertoire of Past, Present and Future”

Percussion ensembles can be found in many music programs in Canada since percussionists love to get together to play percussion music! Leading the way were the McGill percussion ensemble (founded in 1969) and Nexus (1971) and nowadays one can find professional percussion ensembles in most parts of Canada, that are commissioning every year many original works. A large part of this repertoire remains unpublished and/or hosted in personal libraries, and this wealth of music of the past 50 years merits to be shared widely within our community, and beyond. Opportunities for a wider circulation of works, as well as new programming ideas through collaborative initiatives remain largely untapped and will be at the core of our actions.

Our Goal

By bringing together colleagues from all over Canada this axis will aim at:

    1. cataloguing works for percussion ensemble, along with useful post-performance notes on instrumentation/setup diagrams/electronics/etc. that are often kept only in personal archives;

    2. creating opportunities for knowledge transfer to students from experienced percussion ensemble performers/conductors through mentoring sessions (live and online), introducing repertoire reading sessions for emerging composers at in-person CPN events;

    3. building connections among network members with the goal of cultivating deeper ties and more commissioned contributions from composers of underrepresented groups.

Fabrice Marandola

Percussion ensemble was part of my musical life since my very first attempts at playing rudiments – and it certainly was a key motivating factor all along my studies. It is through percussion ensemble music that I first collaborated with living composers, paraded in the streets for carnivals, attempted to compose music or recorded for TV! Fun fact: the first CD I ever bought was of the McGill Percussion Ensemble, 26 years before I moved to Canada and came to McGill to teach percussion and… lead the McGill percussion ensemble!

Canadian percussion has a rich history of percussion ensembles, and of commissioning new music. I am looking forward to developing a comprehensive catalog of Canadian percussion ensemble music, transmitting it to new generations and to paving the way for collaborative approaches leading to the creation of new works. If this sounds like a project you’d like to be involved with, please email me for details on applying to be a member of this axis. 

Fabrice Mandola
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