April 18: Percussion & Mallet Ensemble in Concert

Event Details


Date: April 17, 2012

Times: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Kresge Recital Hall

Ticket Info: $5 for adults | free for Augustana students and faculty | www.augietickets.com

The Augustana Percussion & Mallet Ensembles, under the direction of Dr. John Pennington, will present a concert featuring Nigel Westlake's renowned "Omphalo Centric Lecture" coupled with visual illustrations of art and music at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, in Kresge Recital Hall.

Tickets are $5 for adults and are free for students K-12 and those with an Augustana ID. Tickets are available at www.augietickets.com.

Student members of the Augustana Percussion Ensemble include:

  • Alexander Buffie,Greenfield, Minn.
  • Daniel Fry, Pierre, S.D.
  • Eric Habbe, Rapid City, S.D.
  • Kade Klippenstein, Hot Springs, S.D.
  • Spencer Kruse, Pipestone, Minn.
  • Corey Meyer, Merrill, Wisc.
  • Deann Naab, Worthington,Minn.
  • Anna Olson, Cottonwood, Minn.
  • Andrew Paulson, Jackson, Minn.
  • Mariel Ridgway, Brandon, S.D.
  • Aaron Vidal, Rapid City, S.D.

Student members of the Augustana Mallet Ensemble include:

  • Spencer Kruse, Pipestone, Minn.
  • Andrew Paulson, Jackson, Minn.
  • Mariel Ridgway, Brandon, S.D.

About Nigel Westlake
"Omphalo Centric Lecture" (published in 1984) by Westlake has become one of the most often performed musical compositions* in all of percussion literature.

Westlake was born to two professional musicians in Perth, Australia, but moved to Melbourne fairly soon after his birth. His father,  Donald, served as the principal clarinetist for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for 18 years. His mother, Heather, was one of the first female violinists with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

After receiving the principal clarinet position with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Westlake's father moved the family to Sydney, which is where the young Westlake spent his formative years. These years were comprised of some rather divergent musical experiences. At the age of 10, he showed interest in learning the clarinet, so his father agreed to begin teaching him. At the same time, he began singing with the St. James Choir in Sydney. As a teenager he formed his first "garage" band, Eggs Benedict.

Later, he formed the Magic Puddin' Band and began to attract attention throughout Australia, and, subsequently, some commissions for musical works. In addition to his interest in composition, Westlake had a desire to play nonwestern music. He had the opportunity to fulfill this dream in 1982 when he joined drummer Greg Sheehan's ensemble, Utungan Percussion, as the bass drummer.

Following his work for the Australian Film and Television School in the early 1980s  and additional musical studies in Holland, Westlake formed a trio with percussionists Michael Askill and Grahme Leak called "Touchwood." It was for this instrumentation, bass clarinet and two percussionists, that he composed Omphalo Centric Lecture.

On April 3, a requiem composed by Westlake as a tribute to his murdered son was named Orchestral Work of the Year at the Art Music Awards in Sydney.

*Adapted from "Nigel Westlake's Omphalo Centric Lecture: a guide for performance including a biography of the composer and an examination of the different versions of the work," by Grant Beckett Dalton.