George Willis, director of percussion at West Virginia University, will perform a faculty recital with his wife, violinist Ellen-Maria Willis, Friday, March 2, at the Creative Arts Center.

The recital begins at 8:15 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall. There is no admission charge for the event and the public is welcome to attend.

The program will include music by Béla Bartók (1881-1945), Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) and Eric Sammut (b. 1968).

A new percussion duet written by George Willis will also be performed during the recital, with special guest Michael Vercelli of the WVU music faculty.

George and Ellen-Maria Willis bring the standard works from their instruments (violin and percussion) and create new sounds and new energy.

George Willis received his bachelor of fine arts concentrating in percussion performance from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1984. He followed that with a master’s of music in percussion from Temple University in 1989 and a master’s of business administration specializing in information systems and finance from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000.

He has been performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1984 and was a full-time member of the percussion section during the 1996-1997 season.

Ellen-Maria Willis is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

She has performed with various ensembles including the Houston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Opera and the Wheeling Symphony. She now plays part-time with the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Dr. Vercelli is the director of the World Music Performance Center at WVU. He holds a doctor of musical arts degree in percussion performance from the University of Arizona.

He also is a participating member in the Society for Ethnomusicology and Percussive Arts Society, where he serves on the World Percussion Committee.

For more information on the event, contact the College of Creative Arts at 304-293-4359.

-WVU-

lb/2/27/12

CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4359, Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu

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