The marimba: a large Latin American percussion instrument played with small mallets on wooden bars with resonators tuned to produce a chromatic scale.
Larissa Venzie: a consummate musician, performer and marimbist, who creates music with warmth, depth, character and beauty and who will perform live in concert, Tuesday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. inside Bluefield College’s Harman Chapel.
As part of the 75th season of Blue Mountain Performing Arts and the 2010-2011 Bluefield College Fine Arts Series, the Venzie concert will feature a blend of technical prowess and insightful musicality that is both unique and spellbinding.
A native of Grayson County, Virginia, Venzie started her musical journey on the piano at age of seven, before joining the local school band program in fifth grade as a percussionist. Combining her natural talent, curiosity and drive, she has overcome every musical challenge, including those at Ithaca College’s School of Music, where she graduated summa cum laude after studying percussion under the tutelage of renowned performer and composer Gordon Stout.
A past participant of the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts and member of Phi Kappa Lambda musical honor society, Venzie has performed in concert for audiences across the eastern United States, as well as Austria and France. She has appeared in Independence, Galax, Grundy and Abingdon in southwest Virginia and has performed for the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Virginia Highlands Festival.
In addition, Venzie has premiered three works, recorded two compositions, and has served as an instructor for high school, college, and private individual students.
“Her performances offer a unique and vibrant exposure to the fascinating world of the marimba,” said Bryant Moxley, assistant professor and head of the BC Department of Music. “Through her distinct ability to capture the audience with the melodic magic of this instrument and her own personal charisma, Larissa keeps listeners entranced.”