Senior Spotlight: Jacob Kennell, Percussion

By Sarah Daniels, Staff Writer

On Saturday, March 2, environmental studies and music major Jacob Kennell ’24 performed his senior recital in Paul Recital Hall at 7 p.m.

Starting with “Rebonds b,” composed by Iannis Xenakis, Kennell used a variety of percussion instruments with various tools, from rubber mallets to string bows. Following was Robert Honstein’s “An Economy of Means,” which has four parts, all using items including manilla folders and aluminum foil atop the instrument. 

Next Kennel performed “Dream of the Cherry Blossoms” by Keiko Ab, a dreamy, Japanese folk song based composition. The piece after, which included cello accompaniment by Dylan Hewett ’24, was titled “21” and composed by Andy Akho.

The final song of the recital, written by Kennell himself, was titled “Squared.” 

When discussing the interesting inclusion of a digitized background beat in his composition, Kennell said, “…there isn’t a lot of room in classical music for the drum set, so creating my own backing track was a way to show off my drum set experience on stage.” 

Using the track, Kennell could also showcase his “composition and audio engineering experience.”

Kennell touched on his original reason for starting his music career: “I picked percussion because my dad was in a rock band, and we had an extra drumset in the basement that he would always let me play on.”

Kennell expressed his determination to stick to percussion, stating, “Although the preparation and upkeep of the equipment can often be frustrating, I am glad I stuck to percussion because the skills taught are versatile for many genres of music and it is a very physically expressive instrument group.”

With his recital finished, Kennell reflected on some specific songs from the performance.

“My favorite song to perform was the first piece ‘Rebonds b’ by Iannis Xenakis because of its very dramatic ending and use of interesting instrument combinations like bongos and wooden planks,” Kennell said. “Performing my own piece was very rewarding too.”

(Photo Courtesy of Jacob Kennell ’24)

Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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