Percussion at UTEP
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Percussion Ensemble is dedicated to the performance of diverse musics for percussion. Directed by Andy P. Smith since 2016, the ensemble’s pedagogical philosophy emphasizes the development of chamber music and artist-level performance skills. The versatility and depth of musicianship required of the contemporary percussionist in mind, the broad repertory includes everything from classic works to cutting edge contemporary compositions. UTEP Percussion recently participated in a joint commission sponsoring Contagion by Cayenna Ponchionne , a new work for percussion ensemble featuring the Caixa Percussion trio. The Pandemonium and Pantastics Steel Bands, Brazilian Percussion Bateria, and Afro-Cuban and West-African Percussion Ensembles perform folkloric musics and share a cyclic calendar with the flagship ensemble.
The group presents four to six major concerts per year in addition to off-campus and special events. Recent programs have included The Music of Frank Zappa, and The Music of Brazil featuring the Batuquê Trio in collaboration with UTEP percussionists. UTEP percussion’s popular Music of Cuba and Trinidad program, has featured folkloric and popular music from Cuba, collaboration with UTEP Concert Chorale, and UTEP Trombone Quartet, and the Pandemonium Steel Band performing soca, tassa, samba, and Zimbabwean Shona styles.
Support UTEP Percussion by making a donation to UTEP “Percussion Gift Fund.” The elite Pantastics Steel band, a 10-piece ensemble, UTEP Drumline, and UTEP Brazilian Percussion Bateria are all available for hire at corporate, public, and private events. Proceeds provide for instrument tuning and maintenance, as well as guest artist educational opportunities for our students.
Follow us on Facebook at UTEP Percussion Studies for updates on up-coming events and current student activities.
Pandemonium, Directed by Andy P. Smith, recently celebrated its historical collaboration with The College of Engineering’s Metallurgy Department, presenting a performance and lecture at the College’s 80 year anniversary alumni breakfast. The pan program was founded by Professor Emeritus, Larry White in 1996 and soon after entered into collaboration collaboration with Prof. Larry Murr, Director of Metallurgy. The collaboration achieved international recognition through journal articles and performances across the United States and Mexico. Past performances include featured appearances in Cancun, Mexico and at "Music Under the Stars,” Chamizal National Memorial, Juarez, Mexico. The group has recorded CDs, "Millennium Steel," and"Music under the Stars.”
The group studies the history and performance practice of steel pan culture in Trinidad and Tobago, the birthplace of pan, as a model for learning music performance with respect for tradition and cultural context. Repertory includes calypso and soca, as well as contemporary soul, jazz, Latin, and classical music. Recognizing the capabilities of pan to be effective in diverse music styles, Pandemonium and Pantastics combine folkloric Afro-Cuban, Middle-Eastern, Brazilian, and Zimbabwean rhythms and musics with “Trini” styles.
Book UTEP Percussion
Available UTEP Percussion Groups
- Pantastics Steel Band
- Brazilian Percussion Bateria
- UTEP Drumline
The 10-piece “Pantastics” band-within-a-band performs in support of UTEP events including Minerpalooza, UTEP International Festival, and Orange and Blue Day. They perform regularly at private and corporate events. For booking, please contact Dr. Smith at email@example.com .
Brazilian and Afro-Cuban Percussion
UTEP Percussion includes a 25-piece samba bateria including caixas, repiniques, tamborims, agogo, surdos, and chocolhos, all Brazilian-made. The group performs Rio-style samba batucada transcribed or derived from the elite escolas de samba in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. UTEP Brazilian Percussion Ensemble also performs Maracatu from Recife, Brazil.
The UTEP Drumline is the backbone of the “Baddest Band in the Borderland,” the UTEP Marching Miners. The Marching Miners Percussion Section also performs many ad-hoc events on campus and in the community. The Drumline is treated as a critical component of the UTEP Percussion curriculum. Professionalism, transferable percussion skills, and musicianship are among the concepts considered to be important in daily operations. Quality of teaching, and quality of repertory are stressed as components contributing to the experience of UTEP Drumline members.
Support UTEP Percussion
Support UTEP Percussion by making a donation to UTEP's “Percussion Gift Fund.”
>> Click here to give online. <<
Bands for Hire
The elite Pantastics Steel band, a 10-piece ensemble, UTEP Drumline, and Samba Surdoeste are all available for hire at corporate and private events. Proceeds provide for instrument tuning and maintenance, as well as guest artist educational opportunities for our students.
Click here for more information, and/or contact Prof. Andy Smith.