Percussion Ensemble Concert Is Tuesday, Honoring Brandon Wood

Friday, November 9, 2012 - by Christian Downes, Lee University

The Lee University Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Andy Harnsberger, will be performing with guest artist John H. Beck on Tuesday. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Conn Center and will honor Dr. Brandon Wood, an adjunct professor of percussion at Lee who recently passed away.

The program will feature Wart Hog #3 by Austin Wrinkle, The Frame Problem by James Romig, Selected Movements of Threads by Paul Lansky, and The Girl With the Flaxen Hair by Claude Debussy–to celebrate his 150th birthday–as well as Concerto for Timpani and Percussion Ensemble and In the Pocket by John Beck. The latter will feature a performance by Mr. Beck. 

Mr. Beck is a name that is held in highest regard by many musicians in the percussion community. He received his master’s and bachelor’s from the Eastman School of Music in 1955 and 1962, respectively. He retired from the Eastman School of Music in 2008 after 49 years of teaching and currently serves as professor emeritus of Percussion at Eastman.

Mr. Beck is former president of the Percussive Arts Society and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1999. As a composer, his works are featured by leading publishing companies. Mr. Beck is the editor of the “Encyclopedia of Percussion” and has written several instruction books for snare drum, drum set and timpani.

Lee’s Percussion Ensemble is dedicating their performance to the late Dr. Wood, a Lee alum who worked, taught and performed with the ensemble. Dr. Wood was the victim of a single-car accident as he returned to Lexington on the evening of Oct. 30.  He was 28-years-old.

Lee University President Dr. Paul Conn said, “Since he first arrived on campus as a student, Brandon has been one of those students who was a leader, in every sense of the word, among his fellow band students and music majors. His death is a shocking and tragic loss, and he will be greatly missed by everyone in the School of Music and his many friends elsewhere.” 

Dr. Wood recently completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky and had been serving as an adjunct professor of percussion at Lee, commuting from Lexington to teach two days a week on campus.

Dr. Harnsberger, assistant professor of music and percussion coordinator at Lee, said of Dr. Wood, “We had a tragic loss…Brandon Wood was a great student, colleague, and friend.  He was valued and loved by all and will be terribly missed.”

Dr. Wood is survived by his wife, Lee alumna Kellie McClellan Wood, their four-month-old son Cameron, family, and friends.

Services were held Monday, and an account has been established to benefit Cameron:

Brandon Keith Wood Memorial Account
University of Kentucky (UK) Federal Credit Union
2557 Sir Barton Way
Lexington, KY 40509

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information please contact Lee’s School of Music at 614-8240.

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