Faculty performance provides entertainment in Boutell Hall


NIU professors Liam Teague and Robert Chappell astounded the audience at Boutell Hall Wednesday with original pieces and the imaginative sounds of many percussion instruments.

The first piece of the two-hour concert was the long-winded “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.” With Chappell on piano and Teague on the steel pan drums, the two performed the song very well.

Both were able to match each other’s tempo while climbing up and down the scale. This multi-movement piece was a great way to start off the night; it was exhilarating yet, at times, peaceful.

Although the two played this piece wonderfully, the later pieces were able to showcase the originality of all the musicians that night.

Perhaps the most intense piece was Teague’s “Cell O Vibes,” who must have created this piece as a test of one’s steel pan drums skills because of the speed, agility and preciseness needed to play.

Teague started the song with a slow, dream-like rhythm on the drum. That rhythm would soon expand into a wildly fast and imaginative style. Teague’s hands looked like blurs above the drums as he played three different steel pan drums almost simultaneously.

However great these first couple of pieces were, nothing was as entertaining as “Dueling Xylophones.” Chappell and NIU professor Richard Holly gave the audience a change of pace and had a well-rehearsed comedic acting skit. The two had a staged argument that was intervened by a referee.

There was nothing extraordinarily special about the actual music, but the performance and comedic interruption brought a smile to everyone in the packed concert hall. This piece was a great way to send the audience off giggling into the intermission.

After the intermission, the second hour of the night’s performance took place with Teague’s “Dougla.” Backed by a saxophonist, electric guitar and drum set, the piece allowed Teague and Chappell to explore a full jazz quintet. Each of the five musicians had their own solo performances and rocked the concert hall. The theme was set by Teague’s steel pan solo at the beginning and was repeated by each musician.

At the end of the night, the musicians were able to amaze the audience with their skills on all the percussion instruments. Seeing Teague play the drums is always worth watching and being paired with Chappell’s talent on the piano and xylophone only adds to the explosiveness of the concert.