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Pre-Hispanic Percussion Ensemble, Including EIU Grad, to Perform

Oct-26-2010

  Tunkle Percusiones Mexico with EIU graduate Tom NevillEIU graduate Tom Nevill performs with Tunkul Percusiones Mexico.

Tunkul Percusiones Mexico, a percussion ensemble that re-creates pre-Hispanic music with the help of an Eastern Illinois University alumnus, will perform at EIU's Doudna Fine Arts Center on Nov. 9.

The concert is to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

"The Charleston community will get a chance to experience a percussion performance focusing on the sounds and instruments of an ancient arts culture and heritage that will leave them wanting to hear more," said Tunkul member Tom Nevill, a 1998 graduate of EIU's music department.

Tunkul Percusiones Mexico began in 2005 as a project to research the instruments and traditions of music among the Mayan, Aztec and other pre-Hispanic cultures in the Mexico area (Mesoamerica).

"The instruments are modern recreations of the instruments that were thoroughly researched by (Tunkul director) David Lopez in the Mexico City library, based upon the drawings and detailed notes recorded by the Spanish conquerors," Nevill said.

The compositional work also follows criteria found through research to resemble the music of pre-Hispanic cultures.
Nevill, who has been a member of Tunkul for a year, said he enjoys the uniqueness of the group and the "incredible musicians" he gets to work with.

Nevill serves as assistant professor of music and director of percussion studies at The University of Texas at Brownsville, where he oversees all percussion activities. He said he looks forward to visiting his alma mater, where as a student he was involved with EIU's percussion ensemble, drumline and orchestra.

"My time at EIU provided the foundation of my academic, musical and professional life," Nevill said. "I am very excited about performing again at EIU and in the new Doudna Fine Arts Center. I have not had a chance to see the new facilities. I have heard so many great things about it."

After graduating from EIU, Nevill went on to earn a master’s degree in percussion performance and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society, for which he served as chair of the PAS Scholarly Research Committee from 2007 to 2009. He is active throughout the United States and Mexico as a performer, clinician, educator and scholar.

Tunkul Percusiones Mexico has performed concerts and presented lectures and clinics at universities, lecture series and festivals in the United States and Mexico.

Starting in September 2009, the group's music was used in the four-month exhibition "Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler" at the British Museum in London.

Tickets, which are $5 each, may be purchased in person at Doudna Fine Arts Center Box Office, by telephone at 217-581-3110, or online at http://www.doudnatix.com.

The Doudna Fine Arts Center is a division of the EIU College of Arts and Humanities. For more information on the facility and scheduled events, please see http://www.eiu.edu/doudna.