UK Percussion Ensemble
Under the direction of James Campbell, the UK Percussion Ensemble has won the prestigious Percussive Arts Society Collegiate Percussion Ensemble Contest five times. They have also performed at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, The Bands of America Percussion Ensemble Festival, and alongside international guest artists such as Robin Engelman, Glenn Kotche, Steve Houghton, John Bergamo, Michael Burritt, Bob Becker, William Cahn, Michael Spiro, Chalo Eduardo, Ney Rosauro, Liam Teague, Dick Schory, Anders Åstrand, Richie Garcia, Dave Samuels, Danny Gottlieb, Glenn Velez, Emil Richards, Joe Porcaro, Jerry Steinholtz, David Johnson, Rich Holly, Dean Gronemeier, Fred Sanford, Thomas Burritt, John Parks, J.B. Smith, N. Scott Robinson, Andy Harnsberger, and many others.
UK Percussion Group
The University of Kentucky Percussion Group (UKPG) is a smaller chamber group that performs cutting edge percussion literature written for smaller forces than the standard percussion ensemble. The repertoire demands unflinching intensity of concentration, sustained, vigorous athleticism and, at times, the quiet intensity and slow balance of martial arts. Although a UKPG concert is visually and sonically dramatic, it is not so much theater as it is ritual -- performers in search of a shared experience. James Campbell, director of percussion at UK states, “Chamber percussion performance is a specialized field, and requires a number of skills not normally required for the performance of symphonic or solo music. These percussionists develop a close intimacy of shared musical experience, they move into a zone that is not often experienced when a conductor is leading them. They make on-the-spot musical decisions and perform spontaneous gestures, which turns the music into a conversation between the performers.” The members of UKPG are drawn from the UK Percussion Ensemble, nationally recognized for its excellence and innovative programming.