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.




PHOTOS: Full House Greets Steve Wariner At Songbirds

Back Alley To Produce Original Work “Draft House,” Exploring Childhood, Memory And Family

Award-winning theatre company Back Alley Productions will present its first original theatre stage play “Draft House,” written and directed by Thomas White. Performances for this full-length play are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m., from April 27 through May 13 at the Historic Mars Theatre.   The theatre is at 117 N. Chattanooga Ave. in Lafayette. ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)