Two World Premieres

The Winthrop University Percussion Ensemble was fortunate to present two world premiere compositions for marimba ensemble on our spring concert March 19, 2013. We opened the concert with Inner Logic for marimba sextet by Christopher Hathcock. Chris is a Winthrop alum and currently serves as Director of Bands at Cheraw High School in Cheraw, SC (birthplace of Dizzy Gillespie). Here is what Chris says about his composition:

 “Inner Logic is the second movement of a larger work titled Doubt.  The entire work is an interpretation of the instinctual analytical side of people which we often refer to as doubt.  “Inner Logic” is a reflection of the rational side of our minds resolving cognitive dissonance.  This dissonance is represented through a frenetic pace littered with chromaticism and changing meter. The logic arrives in the mathematically composed 12-tone section which leads to a resolution (or understanding if you prefer) shown through a timbral and tonal shift.  But as with life, the finale introduces another similar but different dissonance that begins the process anew.  This piece was composed in honor of B. Michael Williams and the Winthrop University Percussion Ensemble, both of which were a boon to the composer.”


Chris Hathcock with Michael Williams following the premiere of "Inner Logic."

Chris Hathcock with Michael Williams following the premiere of “Inner Logic.”

The Winthrop ensemble had the great fortune to perform Richard Maltz’s In Perpetuum…for large percussion ensemble back in 2009 (It is a stunningly beautiful work, by the way, and well-deserving of more performances). After the performance, Dick asked me what kind of piece he could write for us in future. I told him I would love to hear what he could do with a marimba quartet. Last year, he came through with Divertimento. Dick provides the following information on his website:

Divertimento (2012)

marimba quartet

Low C, Low A Low F, 5 Octave

Duration: 11 minutes

I.  Prelude
II. Mysterioso
III. Perpetual Motion
IV. Theme and Variations
V. Tango
VI. Postlude
Divertimento, an 11-minute work for marimba quartet, was composed for the Winthrop University Percussion Ensemble. It has six short movements: an inquisitive prelude, a mysterioso, a whirring perpetual motion, a sentimental set of variations, a crescendo of a tango, and an emphatic postlude. The melodies are lyrical. Any perception that the music might seem at times, schizophrenic, may be due to harmony which is derived from both nature’s overtone series and its unnatural, inverted ‘undertone’ series.

Dr. Richard Maltz

Dr. Richard Maltz

Dick teaches at the University of South Carolina-Aiken. Check out his music at Chris Hathcock teaches at Cheraw High School. Reach Chris at