Showcase concert caps off Percussion Ensemble tour

Last updated November 17, 2022


By Jerry Salley ’90


A showcase performance in front of a prestigious gathering of thousands of the world’s best musicians was the highlight of a November road trip for the Furman Percussion Ensemble.

As a winner of the 2022 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition, Furman was one of three schools selected to perform at the annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“This is like winning the NCAA tournament,” said Music Professor Omar Carmenates, the ensemble’s director. “This is the absolute highest honor for a percussion ensemble. It’s a program-defining statement for our students.”

The ensemble made a few stops on the way to Indianapolis. After a concert at home in Daniel Recital Hall, the itinerary included performances at Milton High School in Milton, Georgia; Dickerson Middle School in Marietta, Georgia; and Franklin High School in Franklin, Tennessee. Overall, the group traveled more than 1,000 miles over eight days in a caravan of four vehicles, including a 26-foot equipment truck driven by Mathematics Professor John Harris, said Carmenates.

The ensemble’s program included four new works especially commissioned for the performance. The composers, along with a contingent of Furman alumni and faculty, were in the audience in the Sagamore Ballroom at the Indiana Convention Center for the PASIC showcase concert.

“This hour-long concert, played entirely from memory, represented the most cutting-edge repertoire in our field, and every step of the way these incredible students represented Furman and themselves with the utmost in professionalism and musicianship,” said Carmenates. “I’m literally holding back tears of pride. It will be an experience I’ll treasure forever.”