ABOUT THE ARTIST:
The Varying Degrees Trio–Lucas Bernier, Tom Christianson, and Kenyon Williams: from cutting-edge 21st century music to traditional African, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Middle Eastern drumming, Trinidadian steelpan, and American jazz, anything is “fair game!” Formed in 2013 and based out of Minnesota/North Dakota, the Trio has received numerous state and local grants while performing on tour at Performing Arts and Chamber Concert series events, public arts festivals, and universities across the Upper Midwest.
The MSUM Percussion Ensemble, directed by Dr. Kenyon Williams, is recognized for their eclectic performances at the MN, ND, and National Musical Educators Association conventions, multiple Days of Percussion, and performs annually for over 2,500 school children. The recipient of numerous arts grants and host to over 50 of the greatest names in percussion artistry and composition since 2002, the ensemble has built a solid reputation in both Western and world percussion idioms.
ABOUT THE PANEL: Ice/Drum
The Varying Degrees Percussion Trio combines with the MSUM Percussion Ensemble to present a truly unique performance: Ice/Drum. Over the course of the past three years, the VDT has performed outdoors at the annual Fargo Frostival on hand-crafted ice percussion instruments (supplemented with percussion instruments from around the world). Constructed over the course of weeks of sub-zero temperatures, the VDT hand crafts a series of ice-plates, crystalline xylophones, ice blocks, and frozen sound sculptures designed to thrill both the eyes and ears of our audience members in an improvisatory ice-jam. For this concert event, the VDT will combine with the MSUM Percussion Ensemble to perform an original 10 min. composition, to be composed by Dr. Kenyon Williams, for percussion ensemble utilizing traditional Western and non-Western percussion instruments alongside members of the VDT performing on these unique ice instruments in an outdoor setting (outside of the Convention center).