Percussion Ensembles at Montana State University
The Montana State University is comprised of various groups ranging from the smaller mallet ensemble to the large world/pop ensemble. The MSU Percussion Ensemble presents two on-campus concerts a year as well as various off-campus concerts.
Chamber Ensemble – This ensemble performs the best of the traditional percussion literature, from the classic masterworks, to the newest contemporary literature. This group varies in size and scope and focuses on giving students an optimal chamber music experience.
World/Pop Ensemble – This ensemble plays arrangements and transcriptions from the popular music genre including artists such as Bela Fleck, Pat Metheny, and other representative groups. The ensemble also focuses on folkloric and traditional music from around the world including Latin American, Brazilian, and African percussion.
Mallet Ensemble – This is the smallest and most intimate of our percussion ensembles. Comprised mainly of duos, trios, and quartets, the mallet ensemble focuses on music ranging from ragtime to classical transcriptions.
Spirit of the West Drumline – The Drumline is the driving rhythmic force behind the SOTW Marching Band. This exciting ensemble performs at all MSU Football games and various exhibitions (basketball, volleyball, and high school games) throughout the year. Students in this ensemble enjoy the family atmosphere, including majors from all over the campus, as well as playing and performing shows and cadences to sold-out crowds at Bobcat stadium. For audition and marching band camp information please contact Professor Stephen Versaevel.
Gamelan Sekur Gunung - The MSU world music ensemble called Gamelan Sekar Gunung [Mountain Flower Gamelan] is a percussion orchestra made up of over 20 native Bali instruments built especially for Montana State by the master gamelan builder, Pandé Madé Gableran, including metalophones (xylophone-like), gongs, suling flutes, drums, cymbals, and angklung (bamboo shakers). The orchestra is of the type called Gamelan Angklung, used originally in temple music.
Other Ensembles – Other ensembles available to MSU percussionists include the two wind bands, MSU Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, two jazz ensembles and jazz combos, and the MSU Pep Band. More information can be found here.