Faculty saxophonist, percussionist duo perform March 28


Faculty members Andrew J. Allen, saxophone and Gordon Hicken, marimba with Geoff Martin, marimba and Bruce Canifax, guitar playing Smoke by Marc Mellits. Photo by Peyton Alonzo.

The 51 members of the audience including student and members of the community patiently waited in Akin Auditorium March 28, for Andrew J. Allen and Gordon Hicken to begin their yearly faculty recital, Rogue Two.

Rogue Two is presented by the department of music and was composed of four unique pieces performed by both Allen and Hicken.

Allen, assistant professor and saxophonists said, “As a music faculty member this is a part of our research. We teach music and we play music. We just love playing together we are good friends and good colleagues. So we do as much as we can together.”

Allen and Hicken perform at least once every year on campus and also try to do one solo recital in addition to the group performance.

Allen said, “The first piece [Kif-Kif] and third piece [Mirror Sign] were both written for us. Kif-Kif was written by a French-Canadian composer Robert Lamey, who has become a good friend. He had heard us play in Zagreb, Croatia last summer, and became friends with Groden as well, and wrote that piece for us.”

Allen and Hicken performed together most of the recital except the last piece, Smoke written by Marc Mellits. With the assistance of Geoff Martin, Rider High School percussion teacher who played the marimba, and Bruce Canifax, guitar instructor in the music department, who played the guitar, added a unique sound that contrasted with the previous pieces performed before.

Hicken, assistant professor and percussionist, said, “We premiered Mirror Sign last summer, but this was our first opportunity to perform it on the MSU campus. Smoke is a great piece that contains a wide array of musical styles and is just a lot of fun to play.”

The sounds of the different instruments filled the auditorium as the recital continued. The members of the audience swiftly applauded after the end of each piece.

Kevin Pillow, business sophomore, said, “I heard about the recital through my percussion teacher who happens to be playing in the concert. I came to support him and the other faculty members. My favorite part was the Soundscapes of the Four Season piece by Fang Man. I was able to paint a picture of the four seasons in my head. I was able to understand which part of the song was winter, fall, etc. To me, that’s simply amazing.”