Sep 072008
Authors: Trevor Simonton

CSU faculty Eric Hollenbeck will be playing the first performance at the recently renovated University Center for the Arts Casavant Recital Hall’s tonight at 7:30 p.m.

It was built during the extensive transformation of what was once Fort Collins’ High School.

Now, after over 20 years of hard work and close to $50 million in donations and fees, the UCA is nearing completion, and is finally featuring its recital hall’s first performance.

Hollenbeck will present a solo percussion performance of various composers’ work, including pieces written for timpani, marimba, snare drum and a diverse set of drums called the “multiple percussion.”

The Syracuse, N.Y. native said he has been practicing for “hundreds of hours” in his new UCA office, which sits behind a 500-pound, sound-proof, vacuum-sealed door.

“Velocities”, written by Joseph Schwantner, is one of the four-mallet works. It is influenced by a minimalist style, to which Hollenbeck said he is partial.

He said it also promises to be the most difficult piece he will play Monday night.

“No matter how many times I play that one it still kicks my ass,” he said. “It’s really one that keeps me on the edge of my chair.”

Eric Sammut’s sweet and flowing “Cameleon”, a neo-romantic piece based on operatic harmony, will also be played with four-mallets on marimba.

Elliot Carter’s “The Carter March,” requires Hollenbeck to flip his sticks mid-performance; the non-traditional Askell Mansson piece, “Prim”, calls for some odd stick-on-stick hits; and Brett Dietz’s “Rechargeable Light” will be played over a CD recording.

“I’m a little worried the snare might be a bit loud in there, but it’s a wonderful hall.” Hollenbeck said.

Senior Reporter Trevor Simonton can be reached at

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