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Moriah Placer - Junior Recital

Moriah Placer

 Junior Percussion Recital

October 3, 2012

Bliss Recital Hall, 8pm

Makin’ Whoopee (2011)Moriah Placer (b. 1991)

This solo is based off rhythmic and melodic ideas from Art Tatum’s album, “The Tatum Group Masterpieces - volume 3” with Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich. It uses various brush patterns and techniques on a three piece kit. The main focus of this arrangement was to pay tribute to the great musicians of the be-bop era. 

Watermelon Man (1962)Herbie Hancock (b. 1940)

Watermelon Man is a jazz standard written by Herbie Hancock, first released on his debut album, Takin' Off (1962). “On August 7, 1963, a 23-year old Herbie Hancock was basking in the glow of a Top 10 pop hit, “Watermelon Man.” Through little effort of his own - aside from writing his “jazz” tune and jamming on it one night in a club with Mongo Santamaria, who recorded it - Hancock had one of the seminal summer songs of a turbulent year. The tune was such an important recording that it was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 1998.”

Frank Walton, piano & Rob Chase, bass

Child of Tree (1975)John Cage (b. 1912 - 1992)

Child of Tree is a composed improvisation for plant materials. Cage specifies amplified cactus and pea pod shakers as two of ten "instruments" that are to be chosen by the performer. Prior to the performance, the performer throws coins and interprets the results by the oracle of the I Ching (the Chinese Book of Changes). The performer is instructed to "clarify the time structure by means of the instruments," but even though the performance is completely designed by the performer, an element of chance still exists "because the improvisation can't be based on taste and memory since one doesn't know the instruments" (John Cage in an interview, 1982).-Samuel Solomon

Wind in the Bamboo Grove (1984)Keiko Abe (b. 1937)

"In the early morning haze as I stood in the middle of a bamboo grove, I became enwrapped in a rich medley of sound. Listening to the bamboo leaves rustling against each other in the occasional whip of the breeze, I seemed to hear the song of the wind...I sensed the dynamic and powerful nature of life forces. I took out of my pocket a marble and threw it into the grove. The blue marble disappeared into the morning haze, leaving behind it beautiful echoes as it rebounded from stalk to stalk."-Keiko Abe

Saeta (1949/66)Elliot Carter (b. 1908)

This solo comes from a set of Eight Pieces for Four Timpani (One Player) written in 1949, and 1966. The six from 1949, besides being virtuoso solos for the instrumentalist, are studies in the controlled, interrelated changes of speed now called “metric modulation.” Each piece is dedicated to a performer who showed an interest in the works in their early days:

-     Saeta (1949/1966) – Al Howard – An Andalusian song of improvisatory character sung during an outdoor religious procession, usually at Easter; said to be the descendent of a rain ceremony during which an arrow (saeta) was shot into the clouds to release the rain.

-Elliot Carter

Rancho Jubilee (2009)Andrew Beall (b. 1980)

Rancho Jubilee is the name of a Dominican restaurant on my corner in Washington Heights. Its fun décor and lively atmosphere mixed with Latin and Caribbean influences provided a nice setting for this - trio for Cajons. Cajon is a Spanish word, meaning box. The instrument originated in Peru and later became popular in Spanish Flamenco music. In the piece itself, I’ve taken several key rhythmic motives and them into syncopated rhythms throughout. Besides standard techniques, the different timbre ideas include knocking on the Cajon’s side with knuckles, knocking on the side with the heel of the foot, brushing the surface of the Cajon with fingers and nails, brushing the performer’s leg, and a fist pound directly in the center of the Cajon. My last day writing was spent at Rancho Jubilee, and I am pleased to pay tribute to this restaurant, which continues to be a consistent sanctuary spread them over a variety of contexts as well as used basic rudiments and juxtaposed for composing and orchestrating.-Andrew Beall

Evan Gottschalk & Troy Schaltenbrand


Moriah Placer is a junior music performance major at Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. Moriah was born and raised in Warren, Ohio, and graduated in 2009 from Warren G. Harding High School where she was a member of the Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and performed at the OMEA District V Solo and Ensemble Contest. She also performed with the Youngstown State District V Honors Band, and Kent State Honors Band. During her senior year, she studied percussion with Kevin Kifer and now at YSU, she has studied with Dr. Glenn Schaft and Dr. Elizabeth DeLamater.

While at Dana so far, Moriah has performed with the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Dana Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, and the University Symphonic Band. She also serves as secretary of the Youngstown Percussion Collective - which recently released a CD composed by Dr. Dave Morgan - and is a member of the Percussive Arts Society. Outside of the University, Moriah has served as the percussion instructor at various high schools throughout the area, teaches privately at the Drum Smith, marched with an exhibition group in Winter Guard International, and participated in the Warren Junior Military Band.

Moriah would like to thank her friends and family for their continuous love and support.

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