February 25, 2021

LISTEN! MSM Percussion Ensemble releases recording of commissioned work with liberty… by composer Joe W. Moore III

The composition by Joe W. Moore III with liberty…  for 14 or more percussionists was written specifically for Manhattan School of Music’s Percussion Ensemble.

The music had its first live premiere by the MSM Percussion Ensemble in November 2020 (photo above). The artistic intention of the composition is to bring to light the historical plight of African Americans who have fought in military conflicts, only to return home to face inequality and social injustices.

“The work celebrates the commitment by Manhattan School of Music and by the MSM Percussion Ensemble to bring well-needed attention to underrepresented Black American composers,” says Jude Traxler, Co-Director of the MSM ensemble with Mike Perdue.

The recording of the work took place at MSM Myers Recording Studio. Each performer’s track was recorded separately, with the drummers performing in pairs. The final mix and mastering were done at Traxler Studios. The performance was directed by Jude Traxler and Mike Perdue, who also performed on the recording.

About the music

with liberty… combines Lift Ev’ry Voice , known as the Black national anthem, and The Star Spangled Banner played on metal pipes underneath two opposing battery units playing military-style drum cadences at different tempi,” explains Jude Traxler. “This represents the extraordinary effort required by Black Americans to reach the same level of acceptance and equality in society. As the composition progresses, military drum sounds coalesce into a harmonious unison, weaving both songs together, symbolizing a bright future for all members of our great nation.”

“I am truly honored and humbled that the Manhattan School of Music Percussion Ensemble is premiering my piece,” writes the composer Joe W. Moore III in a Facebook post. “It really represents my hope for continued growth as people and that we can all move forward together as one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

The MSM percussion students taking part in the recording are:

Tarun Bellur (MM ’22)
Will Chinn (BM ’23)
Gabriel Costache (BM ’22)
Arthur Dhuique-Mayer (MM ’21)
Will Hopkins (BM ’21)
Liam McDonald (BM ’24)
Makana Medeiros (MM ’22)
Will Richards (BM ’23)
Christian Santos (BM ’23)
Evan Silberstein (BM ’23)
Mitch Vogel (BM ’21)
Kate Wagner (BM ’24)
Matthias Ziolkowski (BM ’23)

with liberty… by Joe W. Moore III

Commissioned and premiered by the MSM Percussion Ensemble
Audio produced by Traxler Studios (NYC)
Recorded at MSM’s Myers Studio
Directed by Mike Perdue and Jude Traxler

About Joe W. Moore III

Joe W. Moore III currently serves as Assistant Professor of Percussion at Benedict College in Columbia, SC. Prior to this he was Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Moore received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Central Florida, the Master of Music degree from the University of South Carolina, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a minor in composition from Louisiana State University. His primary percussion teachers include Jeff Moore, Kirk Gay, Scott Herring, Jim Hall, Brett Dietz and Troy Davis. His composition teachers include Jay Batzner, Brett Dietz, and Dinos Constantinides.

Active as a soloist and chamber musician, Moore performs as a member of the Omojo Percussion Duo, the Ninkasi Percussion Group, and Dead Resonance. His recent performances have included the Sugarmill Music Festival, the UTRGV Marimba Festival, the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy, and the 2018 Percussive Arts Society International Convention.

As a composer, Moore’s works have been performed and heard across the United States at state music educator conferences, the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. C. Alan Publications, Alea Publishing and Recording, Percussion Music Europe, and Innovative Percussion Publications publish Dr. Moore’s music. He also self-publishes many of his own manuscripts, which can be found in the store of this website.

Dr. Moore’s sponsors include Pearl Drums/Adams Musical Instruments, REMO Drumheads, SABIAN Cymbals, Black Swamp Percussion, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.