Orphic Percussion is a Northern California-based percussion quartet dedicated to the creation and performance of new music. Orphic means “beyond ordinary,” a phrase that characterizes the ensemble and its mission: to commission and premiere new works by today’s most compelling composers; to broaden the audience for contemporary music; and to present concerts that are vibrantly communicative, musically expressive, and inspiringly virtuosic—or, quite simply—extraordinary.
"Colorful, dynamic, deeply musical, and visually enchanting, Orphic Percussion is a game-changer…one of the most thrilling concerts I’ve ever seen.”
—Dr. Dwayne Corbin
Director of Instrumental Music, George Fox University
Orphic offers two structured concert programs—Orphic: Beyond, with highly accessible music for a general audience; and Orphic: Unheard, featuring newly commissioned works written specifically for Orphic. In addition, Orphic can tailor programs to a presenter’s artistic vision or a venue’s logistical capabilities, offering additional possibilities such as a program made entirely of electroacoustic music, an evening of works by American composers, or a more gear-simple recital containing pieces only for mallet quartet (two marimbas/two vibraphones—no extra equipment).
Orphic’s first program, Orphic: Beyond, showcases the ensemble’s commitment to audience-building through virtuosic, yet widely accessible, percussion music. This program takes its title from the meaning behind Orphic—“beyond ordinary”—in order to move “beyond” a traditional recital performance for a more communicative and expressive musical product. Orphic: Beyond also includes dialogue from the stage, for an inclusive, inviting concert experience.
title of work
Quartet for Four Snare Drums
Vous Avez De Feu?
Muse of Fire
Prokofiev, arr. Samuel Chan
Terry Longshore & Brett Reed
The group’s latest (and more ear-bending) concert program, Orphic: Unheard, is the result of the quartet’s mission to commission and perform new music by living composers. Some pieces, such as the Tilburg, Alrich, Cannell, and Froelich, were written expressly for Orphic, while the Viñao and Maric were a result of collaborations with other leading ensembles—namely, the Colin Currie Quartet and The Percussion Collective. To end with a bang, Orphic co-composed a brand new drum quartet that closes the program, demonstrating the ensemble’s first foray into the territory of player-composers.
title of work
Muse of Fire
A Series of Accidents
Stress and Flow, mvt. 1
"Brilliant! Top quality performance and instruction from top quality people. My students were able to open up and learn all they could because Orphic made themselves approachable and kind.”
—Dr. Brian Stackhouse
Director of Percussion, Southern Nazarene University