Grabbing Happiness With SUU’s Percussion Ensemble

Published: April 08, 2022 | Author: Ashley H Palmer | Read Time: 3 minutes

SUU Percussion StudentThe SUU Percussion Ensemble will complete the year with their concert on April 23, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. in the Thorley Recital Hall of the SUU Music Building. Their concert titled Grabbing Happiness will feature guest artist, Jed Blodgett, and perform under the direction of Dr. Lynn Vartan. The pieces to be performed explore fun and happiness in its many forms. This concert is free and open to the public.

Jed Blodgett has attended two virtual sessions with the students to teach the various styles and music of Brazil. He will be in-residence to perform and do a clinic with them. Pieces of interest to be performed include an arrangement of Samba Insalata that Blodgett composed for SUU’s Percussion Ensemble. A piece written by Em Sexton, one of SUU’s students, Oh Snap! will be performed by the ensemble as well.

Dr. Lynn Vartan, Director of Percussion at SUU, says, “After such a demanding year, it seemed perfect to explore fun and happiness in this concert. We are also thrilled to be featuring one of our students as a composer! Add to that the fun and beautiful music and rhythms of Brazil and you can’t help but smile!”

The Southern Utah University Percussion Ensembles perform historically significant works for percussion, contemporary percussion literature, novelty percussion, and traditional non-western percussion music. The ensembles are comprised of both music majors and non-majors, and they welcome students with a variety of levels of experience. Several performance opportunities are available to members of the Percussion Ensembles.

Em Sexton, a senior music major from Arizona, shares, “The pieces we're playing will introduce Brazilian-style percussion and music to much of our community. The concert is a great opportunity to learn about this particular style of music for everyone involved, both performers and audience members. I may be a little biased in saying this, but my favorite part about working on this concert is that we will be performing a piece that I wrote, Oh, Snap! It'll be the first time any of my original pieces have been performed and I'm absolutely thrilled for everyone to hear it! It's been so much fun to rehearse in class, especially getting to do so from the viewpoint of both a performer and composer, and it's been an amazing opportunity to get to work with a group of incredible musicians for a piece I wrote, as well as seeing how the piece evolves to best tell the story I'm trying to tell.”

Grab happiness as you listen to the exhilarating percussion of Brazil and experience newly composed pieces on April 23, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. For more information about arts events at SUU, please visit

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University comprises 26 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, music, and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring over 900 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) making SUU the first public university in the state of Utah to be accredited by all four associations. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit

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