January 11, 2008 — The McIntire Department of Music will present a free marimba master class with Mark Ford on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in room B18 of Old Cabell Hall. The class will focus on four-mallet techniques and warm-up exercises. Participants are encouraged to bring their own mallets.
Ford is the coordinator of percussion activities at The University of North Texas and immediate past president of the Percussive Arts Society. A marimba specialist, he directs one of the largest percussion programs in the United States. Ford has premiered a variety of new works for solo marimba, and is the author of "Marimba:_Technique Through Music," a marimba method book. Ford has been a featured performer and clinician at universities and music conferences throughout the United States, and has performed at international music festivals in South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.
Ford's solo marimba CDs, "Motion Beyond" and "Polaris," have received outstanding reviews. The Instrumentalist said Ford's performance is "superb and his compositional style is equally outstanding." Ford has also recorded a DVD with Japanese virtuoso marimbist Keiko Abe and the University of North Texas Wind Symphony.
As a composer, Ford has written several popular works for solo marimba and percussion ensemble, including "Head Talk," "Polaris," "Kingdom Lore Fanfare," "Stubernic," "Heads Up!," "Nightwatch" and "Standup Shadow." His compositions have been performed at universities and concert halls throughout the world and featured on National Public Radio. Mark was the first percussion composer invited by the prestigious Van Cliburn Foundation to present a performance and lecture on his compositions for the Modern at the Modern performance series in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Master class sponsors include Dynasty USA, Innovative Percussion Inc., Evans drumheads and Latin Percussion. Call the Cabell Hall Box office at (434) 924-3984 for directions or information.