Recital to showcase complex pieces

Student says percussion is deceptively simple, looks for ways to move through songs easily, while relaxed



Music student Nick Theriault will perform a classical repertoire on several percussion instruments for a panel of judges Friday.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen reporter

The WSU School of Music will host a recital featuring solo performances by a fourth-year percussionist from 4:10-5 p.m. Friday in the Kimbrough Concert Hall.

Student Nick Theriault will perform a classical percussion repertoire, featuring 19th-century music pieces played on marimba, snare drum and timpani, among other instruments, Theriault said.

The pieces Theriault performs are technically challenging, and more focused on challenging the performer than entertaining the listener, he said.

“[Percussion music] is deceptively simple,” Theriault said. “If you have something that’s really complicated, there’s always a way of moving through it that makes it easy and relaxed.”

Theriault’s performance will be evaluated by three members of a committee on criteria such as performance, execution and recovery, said David Jarvis, professor and coordinator of percussion studies in the school of music.

“I’m nervous, but I specifically put [the recital] at the beginning of the year so I could get it done with a little bit early,” Theriault said. “But I’m excited … I really like all the pieces I’m playing.”

Theriault has the technical ability to do well in his performance, Jarvis said, but the evaluators are also grading him on his stage presence and his ability to come back after a mistake.

“That’s also the sign of a professional … if there is a slip, to be able to recover and keep going,” Jarvis said.

This recital won’t be Theriault’s first time playing in front of a large audience. As snare captain of the Cougar Marching Band, he has played during soccer and football games, Theriault said.

Playing alone versus in a band or ensemble can give some performers stage fright, Jarvis said, but he believes Theriault will perform well.

“When you do a solo recital, where it’s just you and the audience, that’s a whole other animal,” Jarvis said.

Theriault has one more year at WSU before he graduates. Next year, he will perform his senior recital, which will be twice as long as this year’s, Jarvis said.

“We are training these musicians to become artists,” Jarvis said. “And Nick is definitely on track.”

Theriault hopes to use his percussion performance major and audio technology minor to record and release his own music. After graduation, Theriault wants to be a pit percussionist in a theater company, he said.