Percussion concert honors Sting

By Alexis Malapitan

DeKalb | NIU’s Percussion Ensemble will perform music from the famous Sting album “Ten Summoner’s Tales” in a concert next week.

“Ten Summoner’s Tales” was best known for its two hits, “Fields of Gold” and “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You.” These songs climbed the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the early 1990s.

“Sting’s lyrics are poetic and playful, and his songs on this album touch on issues of lust, love, murder, fear, jealousy, passion, wisdom, faith and joy,” said Michael Mixtacki, acting head of Percussion Studies and director of the ensemble.

The ensemble’s performance will feature a combination of modern percussion sounds including marimbas, the vibraphone and the xylophone, among other instruments.

Mixtacki has included both Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music in the percussion ensemble as tradition since 2012. He said he has also incorporated arrangements of rumba from Cuba and Maracatu and Samba Reggae from northeastern Brazil “to show a more traditional Western percussion sound.”

Ben Wahlund, award-winning educator, composer and performer will conduct the concert in place of professor Greg Beyer, who is on sabbatical.

“It has been a unique and rewarding experience getting to work with Ben this semester. He arranged the entire album ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales,’” said Nicole Chopp, junior percussionist double majoring in Music Education and Music Performance. “I am greatly looking forward to performing with this wonderful, fun and talented group of musicians.”,

Mason Wheaton, senior percussion performance major, said the percussion ensemble will end the night with music from a different artist.

“The concert will be performed in the order of the album, with the exception of Ben’s replacement of ‘Epilouge’ with a compelling arrangement of Mahavishnu Orchestra’s piece, ‘Pegasus-Opous-On the Way Home to Earth.’ He is very excited to be performing Monday,” Wheaton said.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Monday at NIU’s School of Music and is free to the public.