By Kristin Schrecengost
Herald Staff Writer
Grammy-award winning group Third Coast Percussion will perform in Titusville for the first time at the First Presbyterian Church on North Franklin Street at 7 p.m. on Feb. 4. The event is presented as part of The Logan Series at Penn State Behrend in Erie, and is supported by the Rees Foundation.
Third Coast Percussion has performed hundreds of concerts across the country, and teaches musicians of all ages and experience levels. They have also commissioned dozens of new works by composers, according to its website. At the core of all of Third Coast Percussion’s work, is connecting with their audience, whether the musicians are speaking from the stage or inviting the audience to play along. The four members of Third Coast are also accomplished teachers, and make active participation by all students the cornerstone of all their educational offerings.
The Logan Series is a year-long series during the school year. It hosts six events during that time and features educational and community outreach. Established in 1990 from the vision of Mrs. Kay Logan, a flutist for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the events share chamber music with the community.
Gary Viebranz, director of instrumental ensembles at Penn State Behrend, said that Logan thought Behrend was the perfect place to establish a series to inspire future philanthropists.
Viebranz explained that he searches for a wide range of musical styles to showcase in The Logan Series. Each group has a unique sound and ability to bring their music to life, he told The Herald. Through the years, he “hasn’t really pursued a theme,” he said.
“We like to bring world-class performers who are well-known to the series,” he said. Every five years, to celebrate a milestone, the series likes to invite back some of the groups.
Viebranz said that he met Third Coast Percussion at the Chamber Music America’s (CMA) National Conference in 2013 after being approached by one of the members beforehand. The group then performed during the 2014 spring series. They were such a popular group that Viebranz decided he wanted to invite them back this year, and the group agreed to perform in Titusville. This is the first year that The Logan Series is hosting a performance in Titusville through partnering with organizations in the area.
The event is supported by the Rees Foundation, which serves the needs of residents of Crawford, Forest, Venango and Warren Counties. The foundation has supported Penn State Behrend since 1990 with funding to establish and support scholarships and programs that help residents in those four counties. The mission of the Rees Foundation is to support music eduction. The partnership between the university and the foundation was created in part to the educational aspect of the series.
“One of the benefits of their funding was the agreement for a performance in Titusville,” Viebranz said.
The event is free and open to the public.
Schrecengost can be reached, by email, at email@example.com