Wednesday Nov. 2 to Wednesday Nov. 9th was a whirlwind week for Vern Griffith. As VSO Principal Percussionist Vern usually presides over his domain in the back corner of the Orpheum stage.
This particular week started off however with the front of the Orpheum stage transformed into Vern’s kitchen where, surrounded by pots and pans and a vast array of more traditional percussion equipment, he hosted and performed six action packed educational concerts from centre stage.
Each concert started out with Vern still dressed in his pajamas but there was nothing sleepy about these performances. The young school audiences were delighted with this very well conceived programme which provided a perfect balance of education and entertainment.
This picture above is during Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture where Vern had the children creating the numerous cannon explosions in sync with his TNT detonator. Following these six school concerts Vern performed a show with the contemporary ensemble Standing Wave, of which he is a member, and then proceeded to prepare and perform Steve Reich’s wonderful piece ‘Music for 18 Musicians’ for the Modulus Festival (Music On Main’s annual festival) at the Roundhouse.
An extraordinary week of great performances.