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Guest Marimba Soloist Ryan Pride, Performs in New Orleans Friday May 12th

NOVO (New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra) is not a stranger of the Concerto, which is a piece of music that features an orchestra and one main soloist. In the typical concerto, you see a myriad of piano and violin works, which all orchestras perform quite regularly. However, the New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra wanted to do something a little different this season; featuring two guest soloists, Rachael Levine on Cello, and Ryan Pride on Marimba.

First of all, what is a marimba? Percussion instruments can be confusing; while we all know what a xylophone and triangle are, the marimba can escape us. Basically, it is an 8 ft long mallet instrument with metal resonating tubes running underneath its wooden bars. When struck with a yarn-wrapped mallet, the marimba makes a mellow and rich tone. Marimbas can span over 5 octaves of notes, and is often played with FOUR mallets, two in each hand, at the same time.

"Why did you want to perform the Kopetzki Marimba Concerto this season with NOVO?" We asked music director Christopher Bergeron. "I wanted to do something new and exciting - having a marimba soloist is something that orchestras do very often. I wanted the NOVO audience and players to have a chance to experience this different instrument and how wonderful it sounds paired with the orchestra."

Being a percussionist and conductor himself, Chris Bergeron appreciates the sound of a marimba soloist. "I wanted Ryan Pride to perform this solo with us, because he has been such an inspiration in my musical education - he was actually a teacher of mine back in Forte Drum & Bugle Corps back in 2010. Ryan is a fantastic musician, I am proud to be working with him in this concert."

Come and see Ryan Pride perform with the New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra at 7:30pm Friday, May 12th. Tickets are available at or at the door. Location: St Charles Ave Baptist Church, 7100 St Charles Ave

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