The Sundog Percussion Trio is a new group dedicated to commissioning and performing new music by established and up-and-coming composers alike. The trio also believes in the importance of passing on their musical education and performing experience through lessons, workshops, and clinics. While each performer is now living in a different area of the country, all three share the similar background of having studied at the University of North Dakota under Michael Blake.
After studying with Blake, each member has pursued a different path in the world of percussion because of Blake’s strong overall percussion background. Members of the trio have pursued advanced degrees or studied extensively with professionals in the field of drum corps, jazz drum set, jazz vibraphone, classical, latin, and contemporary percussion. Even though they live thousands of miles apart, their shared philosophy of music is what brings this unique group together. The large separation may seem like an obstacle, but it enables the group to be very discerning when picking composers to write for the group.
The members of the Sundog Percussion Trio are Brian Pfeifer (Seattle, WA), Matt Prindiville (Broomfield, CO), and Joel Robinette (Grand Forks, ND). Their first project began in the summer of 2010 and resulted in their inaugural concert and recording session at the North Dakota Museum of Art in the summer of 2011. They performed and recorded four works by vastly different composers: African Sketches #1 by John Gunther, Soom by Christopher Gable, Remnants by John Drumheller, and Still Waters by Brian Pfeifer.
Each performer in the group shares a common goal of bringing artistically merited yet accessible music to their audiences. For this reason, their concert format is designed to eliminate the traditional structure of the performer—audience relationship. This includes a discussion of each piece before it begins with an opportunity for questions from the audience. This eliminates extensive program notes that are often left to the concertgoer to read during the performance. Their concerts are also designed to flow from one piece to the next with minimal set-up time in between. Overall, audience members can expect an intimate and personal concert experience.