CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – At 6 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 29, the Austin Peay State University Department of Music will host a light-hearted, family-friendly concert about death.
“But we’re going to try and make death as fun as we can possibly make it,” David Steinquest, APSU professor of music, said.
This might sound a bit odd to those unfamiliar with the annual APSU Halloween Percussion Concert, but fans of the event know the theme will fit in nicely with the strange blend of music and mayhem that has come to define the wildly popular community event for the last 29 years. And as always, Steinquest and his band of APSU students and music faculty members will wear costumes to perform the Halloween-themed music in an eerily decorated Mabry Concert Hall inside the Music/Mass Communication Building.
The program will open with the piece “Viennese Musical Clock,” which will set the tone for the evening with its strange and haunting sounds. Later, the 21-member percussion ensemble will perform Steinquest’s unique arrangement of composer Bela Bartok’s “With Drums and Pipes.”
“I took a piece for solo piano and turned into it a piece for literally pieces of pipe and brake drums off of cars and all different sizes of drums,” Steinquest said.
Later, the ensemble known as the King of Pop Horns and two APSU faculty members will play along in a performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
“The thing is, I love using other people on this concert,” Steinquest said. “Stanley Yates, our great classical guitar player, is going to play electric guitar on ‘Thriller.’”
Korre Foster, director of APSU choral activities, will recite the song’s spoken word dialogue, which was originally performed by horror movie legend Vincent Price.
“It’ll be great because Korre has an extremely low, resonant voice,” Steinquest said.
The concert will also feature Brian Vernon, chair of the APSU Department of Theater and Dance, tap dancing to William Bolcom’s “Graceful Ghost,” and a choral group known as The Ambien Singers performing Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep.”
“It’s a beautiful piece of music, and we’re using a large choir of 50 or so voices,” Steinquest said. “That’s going to have this huge, beautiful, rich sound.”
The evening will end featuring the ensemble Weapons of Brass Destruction on Gustav Holst’s “Mars, the Bringer of War” – a popular classical piece often used in movies and commercials.
“It’s very recognizable, and it’s going to be so much fun to have the sound of Weapons of Brass Destruction combined with ours,” Steinquest said. “I hate the word awesome, but it’s going to be such an awesome sound.”
Admission to the Halloween concert is two cans of food, which will be donated to Loaves and Fishes, or $3. Tickets go on sale Oct. 17, and the event usually sells out. For tickets or other information, contact the music department office at 221-7818.