Philadelphia Orchestra Percussionist Angela Zator Nelson Joins West Chester University Percussion Ensemble for November 19 Concert

Angela Zator NelsonWest Chester audiences can hear a world-class percussionist for FREE when the West Chester University Percussion Ensemble is joined by the Philadelphia Orchestra’s associate principal timpanist and section percussionist, Angela Zator Nelson, for a concert on Tuesday, November 19 at 8:15 p.m. The concert takes place in the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street, West Chester. The concert is FREE and open to the public.

Ralph Sorrentino, interim chair of Instrumental Music and director of the WCU Percussion Ensemble, “At the Wells School of Music, we strive to give our students the invaluable experience of working alongside world-class artists. It will be an inspiration for our students to perform with such an accomplished percussionist.”

Nelson will also present an orchestral percussion masterclass for WCU percussion majors on Thursday, November 14, and will rehearse with the ensemble on November 17 and 18 in preparation for the concert.

Angela Zator Nelson joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999 as the first female percussionist ever hired by the Orchestra.  A native of the Chicago area, Ms. Nelson graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Music and was principal percussion of the Civic Orchestra for three years.  She obtained a Master’s degree in music performance from Temple University in 2001.

Ms. Nelson is an active chamber musician with a forte in new music.  She has premiered and recorded the first five George Crumb American Songbooks written for Orchestra 2001. The premieres took place at the Salzburg Music Festival, in Carnegie Hall, and in the Perelman Theater at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.  Ms. Nelson also performs regularly with Network for New Music and the Philadelphia Orchestra Percussion Group.  She has participated in numerous music festivals, including the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Pacific Music Festival, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, the Peninsula Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra.  As a marimba soloist, Ms. Nelson has performed with Temple University’s Symphony Orchestra, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, the Main Line Symphony, and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony.

As an educator, Ms. Nelson joined the faculty at Temple University as adjunct professor in 2001.  She has given master classes to numerous students in grade school through college and has presented classes at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.

Ms. Nelson and her husband, percussionist David Nelson, enjoy working as a percussion duo performing recitals and educational concerts for both children and adults.  They are also part of the Bob Beach Trio performing blues, folk, and rock in local coffeehouses and regularly at Philadelphia’s World Café Live.  The trio most recently recorded a demo album entitled Baby Please Don’t Go.  

The WCU Percussion Ensemble is comprised of percussion majors from the Wells School of Music. Their repertoire ranges from standard percussion ensemble compositions to important new works written by emerging composers. Two public concerts are performed on campus each season, with at least one concert featuring a notable guest artist. Past guest soloists have included Steven Wight (MET Orchestra), Cynthia Yeh (Principal Percussionist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), and Christopher Rose (Assistant Principal Percussionist of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band), among others. The ensemble also tours elementary and middle schools every spring, presenting assemblies for more than 2,500 students annually.

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