Press Materials

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“They play as if they’re a single, eight-armed organism”
-NPR Music

“Virtuosity and deft, precisely timed wit”
-Washington Post

“Commandingly elegant”
-New York Times

-Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“An inspirational sense of fun and curiosity”
-Minnesota Star-Tribune

“The group performed with absolute aplomb”
-Boston Globe

-Chicago Tribune

“Mysterious, funny, endlessly inventive”
-Boston Classical Review

-Independent (UK)

“Technical precision, palpable groove and outstanding sound”
-Time Out New York 

-New York Times

“Savvy and hyper-talented young percussionists”
-Musical Toronto

“Fluency and zest”
-Andrew Clements, the Guardian (UK)

“Undeniably groovy…masterfully performed”
-Time Out Chicago

“One of the country’s finest new music ensembles”
-Chicago Reader

“The musicality and fierce focus of Third Coast Percussion electrified the room.”
-Sarasota Herald-Tribune 

Reviews and Features

Ringing In the New


March 19, 2014
by Kyle MacMillan

Augusta Read Thomas is bats about bells. The nationally known Chicago composer has included them in her music and has used other instruments to evoke their ringing tone and resonance. In her new piece she takes her infatuation further than ever.

“Resounding Earth” incorporates 125 bells and other instruments and metal items that make bell-like sounds—300 objects overall. “It wasn’t like, ‘OK, now, I’ll do something crazy.'” she said. “It was to take something that was true to my music and push it all the way.”

The 35-minute piece, which next will be performed March 24 at the University of Buffalo and March 26 at Penn State Erie, was commissioned for Third Coast Percussion by the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Since the work’s world premiere in September 2012, the Chicago-based ensemble has performed it nearly 20 times across the country, with the composition’s first New York performance set for March 2015 in Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.

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Classical Playlist



May 19, 2014
by Steve Smith

DAVID T. LITTLE: ‘Haunt of Last Nightfall’
Third Coast Percussion
(New Amsterdam)
David T. Little is quickly gaining a reputation as an opera composer of substantial promise, but “Haunt of Last Nightfall,” a percussion work just over half an hour long, shows that his dramatic instincts extend well beyond the theatrical stage. Billed as a “ghost play” inspired by a 1981 massacre in El Salvador, the music moves from rusticity through violence, despair and outrage in this eloquent account by Chicago’s versatile, resourceful Third Coast Percussion.

Read the original article here.

Third Coast Percussion delivers powerful Thomas premiere at Logan Center




February 22, 2014
by Michael Cameron

It must have been heartening for contemporary music aficionados to see a nearly full house for Third Coast Percussion at the Logan Center in Hyde Park Friday. A major draw at the University of Chicago Presents event was the highly anticipated local premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’ Resounding Earth, written for the quartet in 2012 and already the focus of a highly acclaimed recording.

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Review: CMA at Transformer Station – Third Coast Percussion







January 20, 2014
by Daniel Hautzinger

Rhythm. It’s the first thing that pops into someone’s head when they hear the word “percussion.” But percussion is such a broad term that it can stretch far beyond just playing beats. Third Coast Percussion’s packed CMA concert at Transformer Station on January 19 provided many such examples of percussion’s fantastic versatility.

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Third Coast Percussion makes a hit with Ensemble Music audience at the Toby


November 15, 2013
by Jay Harvey

There was everything from the raucous to the ethereal in Third Coast Percussion’s concert Thursday night at the Indianapolis Museum of Art — offering more bang for the Ensemble Music buck.

The Chicago-based quartet, currently enjoying a residency at the University of Notre Dame, played three substantial works in the simpatico setting of the Tobias Theater, whose wide, high stage allowed the ensemble’s sounds to flower throughout the hall. Lighting was complementary, particularly in the concluding piece, Augusta Read Thomas’ “Resounding Earth,” which was written last year for the ensemble.

Three works were played by the versatile, dead-on-precise foursome of David Skidmore, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin and Sean Connors. Thomas’s celebration of bell sonorities occupied the second half, its four movements saturated with tintinnabulation, a cosmic and never darkening expansion of Edgar Allan Poe’s verse echo chamber.

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Third Coast Percussion fills hall with sound for Present Music



October 13, 2013
by Elaine

Present Music opened Saturday evening’s performance with a Vogel Hall stage filled with percussion curiosities.

Featuring the Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion Ensemble, the program began with a completely fascinating performance of “Prayer — Star Dust Orbits” from Augusta Read Thomas’s “Resounding Earth.”

The four Third Coast players created an enormous palette of sounds using standing bells (think Tibetan singing bowls). The resonant sounds of the standing bells created such vivid sounds that one could almost imagine seeing the sound waves moving through the air and bouncing off of one another.

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Ritual Reaches: Julio Estrada at Miller Theatre

May 17, 2013
by Corrina da Fonseca-Wollheim

By contrast, in “eolo’oolin,” which received a riveting performance by Third Coast Percussion, led and directed by Steven Schick, instruments were liberated, as players paraded clusters of drums around the auditorium. Rhythms morphed into pitch and harmony, creating waves of sound that seemed to coalesce as form.
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Ten classical events to warm a Chicago winter


January 3, 2014
by John Von Rhein

This is the winter of our content. “Our,” as in Chicago classical music lovers. “Content,” as in pleasure unbounded. The coming three months promise a rich array of performances that should appeal to just about every listener taste, whether the music is Baroque or contemporary, or whether the genre is chamber, symphonic or opera. Here are 10 major events taking place between now and the end of March you will want to circle on your calendar:

Third Coast Percussion: One of the hottest new music groups around just keeps getting hotter. The centerpiece of a program of percussion works that marry the sounds of East and West will be former CSO resident composer Augusta Read Thomas’ “Resounding Earth,” for 125 bells, bowls and gongs from around the world, in its Chicago premiere. Feb. 21 at Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, 915 E. 60th St.; $35, $5 students, at 773-702-2787 and

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Best of 2013: Top 10 Classical and New Music Albums of the Year




December 18, 2013
by Doyle Armbrust

Third Coast Percussion Resounding Earth (New Focus Recordings)
The decay of a bell ring can be mapped linearly, but the resonance of struck metal contains in it an element of eternity, floating away rather than being extinguished. Augusta Read Thomas’s new four-movement commission for Third Coast Percussion, Resounding Earth, embraces the spiritual connotations of these instruments with titles “Invocation,” “Prayer,” “Mantra” and “Reverie Carillon.” The exuberant trades and dueting of the opening “Invocation” lift skyward as though each bell were tethered to a helium balloon. The dynamic range on display throughout the album further magnifies the elysian quality of Thomas’s writing, and Third Coast’s performance is as synchronous as it is dramatically fertile. Toss out those Deepak Chopra guided meditations cassettes and find a true state of bliss (with 100% less synthesizer) in Resounding Earth.

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Our Favorite Music of 2013



December 26, 2013
by Peter Margasak

Classical music, with young artists taking matters into their own hands and forming bold, forward-looking groups rather than waiting for that elusive symphony job. Northwestern, DePaul, and the University of Chicago have been producing a dazzling number of fearless composers and hungry, open-minded musicians. The following five albums, presented in no particular order, feature some of the greatest talents.

Third Coast Percussion, Resounding Earth (New Focus)

Chicago’s premier percussion ensemble tackles a commission from Augusta Read Thomas, formerly a Mead Composer-­in-Residence with the CSO and now a professor at the University of Chicago. The four-movement Resounding Earth is built around the ringing, tinkling, and clanging of bells (though lots of other metal percussion turns up as well), with tones both terse and sustained. The CD comes with a DVD shot while the group recorded the work, which gives you a look at the meticulous integration required by the score—all four Third Coast members stay feverishly busy weaving together the music’s layers of rude impacts and serene resonances.

Read the original article here.