In addition to the Young Composer's Concert and the U.S. Army Field Band concert ( and the line dancing at the Wild Horse Saloon), a highlight for me of the NAfME National Convention was the concert and 3-hour workshop in Korean Drumming led by Dr. Soojin Ritterling of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In the three-hour period she managed to teach an entire piece of the Samulnori genre, featuring four instruments - Jing, Buk, Janggu and Kkwaenggwari. She first described the original context for traditional Korean drumming and how the piece we were learning was a concert version of this traditional music. Dr. Ritterling with the help of four students in her ensemble at UW-La Crosse taught the piece using her own transcription of the piece into Western notation, but also referred to some of the traditional drumming syllables that would have been used to teach the piece orally. Actually, a written notation exists using graphic notation and (at least in the case I saw) the Korean syllables/vocables transliterated into Latin script. Ritterling's rationale for using Western notation, despite the fact that a student of hers thought the Korean notation was clearer, was that it made the piece easy to teach to teachers and students already familiar with staff notation. And I can confirm that over the course of the workshop - if one took the initiative to try out the parts for all four instruments - one could reasonably learn the piece well enough to convey to a group of students. One of the La Crosse students even offered some suggestions about how to go about substituting various instruments for the difficult-to-obtain Korean ones. Ritterling also offered copies of all the parts along with a simple handout explaining the instruments and the contexts she described. I'm ready! Put me in front of a class!


Access liner notes and bios for Kathryn Woodard's Journeys CD at the link - our current radio promotion.


Learn more about our new partner And We Were Heard - a diversity project that provides recordings of composers' works by participating wind ensembles!



Check out the video pages for the Anthology of Turkish Piano Music:

Volume I

Volume II

Volume III 


Listen to an excerpt of "Aegean Spring" read at the Midwest Clinic Orchestra Reading session here!


View one of our featured titles, "Victory March," here.


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