Concertpiece for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble
Originally composed for solo marimba and wind ensemble, this version of Clifton Taylor’s Concertpiece has been orchestrated for percussion ensemble by Tapspace artist Jason Baker. In his arrangement, Baker disseminates the original wind parts to a quintet comprised of 4 mallet players (glockenspiel, vibraphone, 2 marimbas) and a drumset player. This allows for a much more stripped-down and intimate performance of Taylor’s original musical material.
The percussion accompaniment parts are playable by advanced high school students and are less challenging than the solo part. This arrangement is ideal for an advanced high school or undergraduate marimbist who is looking to showcase their chops and musical maturity! There is also a reduction avaiable for marimba and piano..
Jason Baker has created a deft adaptation of Clifton Taylor’s groovy, joyful concerto for marimba and wind ensemble. Because he commissioned the original, I imagine he knows it well! Inspired by the music of Pat Metheny and by the composer’s experience performing with jazz ensembles, “Concertpiece” is a fun ride through mixed-meter grooves, a rock ballad, and Latin jazz.
The solo marimba part in Baker’s percussion ensemble version is identical to the original. Baker provides helpful suggestions for adapting the solo part from 5-octave to 4.3-octave marimba, in case the larger instrument is not available. The solo part is suitable for an experienced undergraduate student or perhaps an advanced high schooler, if he or she has the stamina to perform this ten-minute work with no breaks. The ensemble parts are not very technically challenging; the most unusual aspect for most players will likely be the alternating mixed meters, so characteristic of Metheny’s music and likely a great way to develop this skill in an ensemble context. Beginning to intermediate students could perform this piece with their teacher or with more advanced student.
I’m glad to see this work as a chamber piece; it can feel silly to perform such groovy music with a conductor, and with a strong and communicative drumset player and soloist, no other leadership should be necessary. In “Concertpiece,” Taylor and Baker create a perfect opportunity to practice solo and accompaniment skills with a substantial yet approachable work.
—Rebecca McDaniel Percussive Notes Vol. 57, No. 3, July 2019
To submit a performance please join the TEK Percussion Database
Works for Percussion by this Composer