Every November, Missouri Western State University’s Percussion Studio puts on a show unlike any other in the area. This year, it’s raising the bar even higher.
A showcase of percussion instruments, from the Golden Griffon Drumline to the MWSU Steel Drum Band to the MWSU Percussion Ensemble, Missouri Western’s “Percussion eXtravanganza” is a wild night of varying beats and textures.
“The repertoire is challenging, but really accessible. It’s music we feel that everyone will really be entertained by and enjoy,” Dr. Joshua Knight, assistant professor of music — percussion, said.
Adding to that, the group will be joined by Rich Redmond, the drummer for multi-platinum country artist Jason Aldean, for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Potter Hall Theater, 4525 Downs Drive.
“He is one of the biggest names in Nashville right now. He’s recorded and played with everybody and anybody that’s in country music,” Knight said.
Before the concert, Redmond will be assisting and answering questions from percussion students, while taking in the hard work each has been putting for the upcoming concert. Prior to the performance, Redmond will lead a clinic at 5 p.m.
“Part of my goal as an instructor here at Missouri Western has been to constantly bring in exceptionally talented musicians that can encourage my students and they can serve as role models, even outside of what us as instructors can do,” Knight said.
In addition to Redmond’s work as a drummer, he’s also a motivational speaker, and he talks about his experiences on the road and how to grow deeper as a percussionist.
“One of the interesting life experiences that Redmond has had is he was playing with Jason Aldean the night of the Las Vegas shooting. I don’t know if that ultimately drove him to do some writing and motivational speaking, but I assume that had a profound effect on him,” Knight said.
Originally created by Dr. Dennis Rogers, the percussion showcase is a wonderful experience for Knight as both a teacher and musician, as he watches his students grow deeper in their craft.
“For a lot of artists, it’s hard to get that pat on the back for a job well done. And I think being able to perform and have a great performance and then afterward, get those accolades — I think it’s really, really important,” he said.
The event is free and open to the public.