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UA News

Alumni return for percussion performance

By Aaron Cowman

Thursday August 23, 2001 |

Arizona Daily Wildcat

This week has seen the return of thousands of students to the University of Arizona, and come Sunday the campus will welcome back three more after nearly 20 years.

The Tucson Institute of Percussion will open the Faculty Artist Series with a performance at Crowder Hall Sunday at 3 p.m.

The group is comprised of UA alumni Brian Harris, Homero Ceron and Todd Hammes - a team that is accustomed to working and performing together.

The trio puts on the World of Percussion Workshop for children ages 7 to 18 at Pima Community College. Every summer they culminate each camp with a performance of their own.

"The main reason we formed the group was to do a summer camp for kids," Ceron said.

The Tucson Institute of Percussion will open the UA School of Music and Dance's Annual Faculty Artist Series Sunday at 3 p.m. at Crowder Hall. General admission is $10, UA employees and seniors are $8 and students with a valid ID are $4. Call 621-2998 for more information.

"The last two summers we have done a recital," Harris said. "We've stepped it up a little with this concert."

Hammes said this performance will have a sound that is sure to entertain.

"It's not going to be a stiff concert," Hammes said. "Musically, it should be exciting."

Like the other performances, he will try to make it enjoyable for all audiences.

"It's not like a string quartet concert," Hammes said. "With my concerts I like to keep it informal."

Joining the trio are guitarist Matt Mitchell and flutist Sandy Shoebel, from the Blue Monks, who have performed with the group before.

"Lately I've been doing a duo with him (Mitchell) on a seven-string guitar," Harris said. "Out of the two of us he is much more impressive than I am."

Ceron and Shoebel have produced a CD and had a program highlighting their music on KUAT. The duos will perform some separate numbers at this concert, but at the heart are the three percussionists.

"We do a lot as a group and as individuals," Hammes said.

Along with having their own CDs out, each has separate side projects. Harris teaches percussion from his home while raising his son, and Hammes plays regularly with his group, the Sonoran Consort. Hammes said he is in good company when he plays with Ceron and Harris.

"The other two are such good musicians that it makes it easy to play with them," Hammes said. "It makes good art."

The group will present some of their own work at the concert in an effort to attract students to the music department. Along with new UA students, the trio hopes to draw other alumni and some of their students from the summer camp.

"The student population at large will get a chance to hear something new," Ceron said. "Hopefully we can attract some new freshmen to get into percussion."

"It's just like any other crowd," Harris said. "They come to hear the music."

Ceron said he just hopes to attract some new listeners to the group's music.

"I have no expectations at this point." Ceron said. "I just want to get people in there to hear us."

If all goes well, similar concerts may be a common event in the future.

"We'll definitely do more performances, regardless of the turnout, just maybe not in Crowder Hall," Harris said.

Aaron Cowman can be reached at


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