The UTC Percussion Ensemble performs at last year's Beat Hunger concert.

If you go

› What: UTC Percussion Ensemble’s Beat Hunger concert.

› When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21.

› Where: UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St.

› Admission: $2 check to Chattanooga Community Kitchen or two nonperishable food items.

› Phone: 423-425-4603.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Percussion Ensemble will kick off Thanksgiving week with its annual holiday feast of music, Beat Hunger, on Monday, Nov. 21.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the UTC Fine Arts Center, but doors will open at 7 o'clock to accommodate the crowd that arrives early to get the best seats. Admission is either a $2 check made payable to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen or two nonperishable food items.

This concert is known for unusual music that showcases all instruments in the percussion family, but this year holds a particular treat for concertgoers. Dr. Monte Coulter, ensemble director, says a drum quintet will present the "concert hall world premiere" of an original work by UTC alumnus Erik Gehrke titled "November 25, 1863."

Gehrke was a member of the UTC Percussion Ensemble from fall 2011 to last semester when he graduated with a bachelor's degree in music, says Coulter.

"Erik was commissioned to write this piece to be performed at the dedication of the monument to William Tecumseh Sherman in Sherman's Reservation, to coincide with the Glass Street parade in October. The premiere was given outside the park by the same group of musicians who will perform it at Beat Hunger. In the words of Mr. Gehrke, the drum quintet expresses 'the carnage and pathos of warfare, as it was practiced right here over a century ago.'"

Also on the program is "Forest Rain," which uses percussion effects to evoke the sounds of a thunderstorm and rainfall — which Chattanoogans certainly haven't heard lately.

"Also, a piece called 'Vertical River,' with guest graduate student Drew Daniels, was inspired by a wild whitewater rafting trip on the Colorado River," says Coulter.

Guest performers joining the ensemble will include percussionists Drew Daniels and Jared Horner, soprano Cara Standifer and clarinetist Monte Coulter IV. Chattanooga's popular street drummers, Funkabuckets, will entertain guests waiting in the lobby of the Fine Arts Center before the concert begins.

"There are always surprises at Beat Hunger," Coulter says. "This is a family-friendly event. Please bring food and come be a part of the solution."

Contact Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.


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