Famed percussionist teaches progression of drumming

Percussionist Lisa Pegher performed for students at Central High School Wednesday afternoon.

Lisa Pegher has been called many things by a number of publications including the “Future of Percussion,” but choir and band students at Central High School just called her “awesome” after the solo performance she gave to them Wednesday afternoon.

Pegher is the performance guest of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra who is serving as an artist-in-residence this week at all the area high schools.

Pegher demonstrated to students the progression of learning specific drumming techniques on the snare drum, which is what beginning drummers usually learn first, and how those techniques could carry over to other percussion instruments such as the drum set or xylophone.

The students sat mesmerized by the rhythms Pegher was drumming. She hit short staccato rolls, followed by slow beats made with long circular arms, then a scratching noise of stick on stick, followed by series of taps to the drums casing.

The rhythm was complicated and the sound was so varied it was hard to believe it was being made by one instrument and only one drummer.

Pegher is a professional solo percussionist who travels the country giving guest performance with different symphonies.

“She is an extremely engaging and young musician who is making her own path in world,” said Jennifer Schultz, marketing director for the symphony.

Schultz added that not only would symphony-goers enjoy her performance, but to have her perform for District 51 students was a real bonus for the community. “She’s the best at what she does,” Schultz said.

What she does can’t be done by most. Pegher is best known for playing a five-octave marimba with four mallets, a truly complicated percussionist feat.

Pegher will perform the “Jennifer Higdon Percussion Concerto” with the symphony at their concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Grand Junction High School. Tickets are $5 for students and adult reserve seating costs $15, $20, or $25. For ticket information, visit http://www.gjsymphony.org or call 243-6787.

More information about Pegher is available at http://www.lisapegher.com.


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