One of my wonderful roommates this year is a percussion performance major, and this Monday I got the chance to see her perform with the USC Percussion Ensemble. I’d never been to a percussion-only show before, and I didn’t know what to expect. How do you compose a piece of music without a melody? Turns out there are a lot of cool things you can do with percussion that I never knew about. The musicians played all the usual instruments like drums, wood blocks, cymbals, and triangles, but they also used flower pots, hollowed out gourds, and saws. For one piece, they set up a contra bass and one guy hit the strings to make a cool resonate sound. Another piece used kitchen timers!
One of the things I love about being at USC is that we have such talented professional schools. Going to concerts put on by the music school is just the tip of the iceberg — there are also movie screenings through the cinema school, plays and musicals through the theater school, daily news broadcasts through the communications school, and more!