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APSU’s Percussion Ensemble Halloween Concert returns to campus on Oct. 29


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – One afternoon this summer, while David Steinquest struggled over the theme for his 37th Annual Percussion Ensemble Halloween Concert, he stepped inside a building and automatically covered his nose and mouth with a mask. Suddenly, with his face now hidden, the Austin Peay State University music professor began humming the theme music for caped crusaders and men of steel.

“It hit me,” he said. “Basically, Halloween is about masks and really the main segment of the population that wears masks are superheroes, which means we can do superhero music on the Halloween Concert.”

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Steinquest to live-stream the wildly popular event, but on Oct. 29, the superhero-themed concert will return to campus with in-person performances, and a live-stream, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Music/Mass Communication Building’s Mabry Concert Hall.

“I’m more a Marvel fan myself, but I didn’t want to make anybody mad, so D.C. is represented on the program as well – Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman,” he said. “On the Marvel side, we have Thor and Spiderman and Iron Man, which gives us the opportunity to do some really cool things.”

In D.C. superhero movies, Steinquest said, the producers prefer composers like Danny Elfman and John Williams to create original music. In Marvel movies, the soundtrack often features classic rock and roll songs.

“We have the ‘Immigrant Song’ – the ultimate Thor tune – and ‘Back in Black’ is in Iron Man, so we get to do Led Zeppelin and AC/DC,” Steinquest said. “Most of the bad guys don’t get music…or good music, so I had to be creative there. Billy Eilish wrote a tune called ‘Bad Guy.’ Those lyrics, for our audience, could be inappropriate, so I turned them into appropriate lyrics and they’re also Halloween-comic-villain appropriate.”

The evening also will feature special guests, such as Allison Steinquest, Chris Brooks, Chris Crockarell, the Dark Knight Singers and the Gotham City Brass. As always, the performers will be dressed in costumes to commemorate the October holiday.

Tickets go on sale Oct. 15. Admission to the Halloween concert is two cans of food, which will be donated to a local charity, or $5. Both shows traditionally sell out, so Steinquest suggests buying tickets early. For tickets, visit the APSU Music Department Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/APSUMusic.

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