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Alumnus to boom onto OSU stage in percussion ensemble

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Christopher Norton (left), Scott Herring, Susan Powell, Joseph Krygier and Kristopher Keeton of the Sympatico Percussion Group.  The group is set to perform 8 p.m. Tuesday at Weigel Auditorium.  Credit: Courtesy of Tyler Crea

Christopher Norton (left), Scott Herring, Susan Powell, Joseph Krygier and Kristopher Keeton of the Sympatico Percussion Group. The group is set to perform 8 p.m. Tuesday at Weigel Auditorium.
Credit: Courtesy of Tyler Crea

Amy Garapic, a freelance percussionist living in New York City and an Ohio State alumna, said the decision to return to campus was an easy one.

She was asked by her former music professors to join them in performing with the Sympatico Percussion Group, which is set to perform 8 p.m. Tuesday at Weigel Auditorium.

“It was kind of a no-brainer. There was no way I could say no,” Garapic, a member of the class of 2009 said.

Susan Powell and Joseph Krygier, two of the musical group’s four founding members, are instructors at OSU’s School of Music. Powell is a professor of music and director of percussion studies and Krygier is a senior lecturer of music and dance at OSU’s School of Music. The two met while pursuing their undergraduate education at the Eastman School of Music and became friends, Powell said.

Powell said she and Krygier met Scott Herring, the third founding member, through a circle of fellow musicians and teaching networks. Herring currently serves as an associate professor of percussion at the University of South Carolina’s School of Music.

The Columbus show is set to mark Garapic’s first performance with the musical group onstage. She studied percussion music in the School of Music at OSU.

Powell said the percussion group is set to perform a wide variety of music, ranging from early 20th century jazz music to more modern pieces.

Garapic said she is excited to play with her former professors.

“I’m also really excited to get to play ragtime (a style of music developed before American Jazz) music with Susan Powell. Susan is a master of that repertoire and that genre, and any time I see her play that music, I’m continuously picking up my jaw off the floor with how fast her hands are moving,” Garapic said.

Powell said the percussion group is prepared to perform a wide variety of instruments during the show, including drums, cymbals, gongs, rattles and an array of mallet instruments including the marimba and xylophone.

Mario Marini, who graduated from OSU’s School of Music and is currently a first-year graduate student pursuing his doctorate in musical arts, is familiar with the demand of ability that percussion instruments require.

“Some of them (instruments) can be very complex and requires a lot of technical demand … You can have instruments that require little technical skill and are not complex. But the important part is that no matter what they’re playing or how complex it is, they get amazing sounds,” Marini said.

Marini said he saw the Sympatico Percussion Group play in concert in 2009.

“I went to their inaugural concert. It was a life-changing experience seeing them play together. As a young student it really shaped the way I looked at percussion and the possibility of the instrument,” Marini said.

Powell said the opportunity to see the group perform will be an enjoyable experience.

“It’s going to be a great concert. Percussion concerts in general are enjoyable because of the variety of sounds and styles,” Powell said.

Benjamin Haimann, a second-year in music education and percussion performance, said he plans to attend the show.

“I’m planning to go because I’m personally interested in percussion music, but I’m also interested in going because I’ll be able to see five professional musicians perform some really outstanding music in a live chamber setting. That’s a very unique thing and we don’t have that opportunity very often,” Haimann said.

Luke Shultz, a fourth-year in music education and performance, said he has attended many Sympatico Percussion Group performances.

“I’ve heard them play many times and their performances are always diverse and entertaining,” Shultz said.

The Sympatico Percussion Group is set to have two special guests perform with them on stage. Mark Rubinstein, a sound engineer for the School of Music, plays accordion and is slated to join the group alongside Kevin Schempf, an associate professor of clarinet at Bowling Green State University and bass clarinet performer.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for senior citizens, Alumni Association members, non-OSU students and children. Admission is free to all concert card holders and OSU students, faculty and staff with a valid BuckID.

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