Steel Pan Artist Rick Kurasz to Perform


Rick Kurasz
On March 6, guest steel pan artist Rick Kurasz will perform a concert in Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall. The concert begins at 8 p.m. and admission is free. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Music and the Truman Percussion Society.

Kurasz is currently director of percussion studies at Western Illinois University. He received his B.M. in music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his M.M. from the University of Akron, and his D.M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In addition to teaching, Kurasz has performed in numerous orchestras including the Akron Symphony, Sinfonia da Camera, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Idaho State Civic Symphony, Peoria Symphony, Knox-Galesburg Symphony and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Kurasz is also a performer of contemporary music and continues to commission and perform new works.

As an active member of the Percussive Arts Society, Kurasz serves as Illinois chapter vice president and as a member of the New Music Research Committee. He has performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention as soloist and as an ensemble member. Kurasz is also a clinician and adjudicator for percussion and steelband throughout Illinois.

Kurasz is a composer/arranger in the genre of steel band and is published by Pan Ramajay productions and Panyard Publications. Before coming to Western Illinois University, Kurasz directed the University of Akron Steel Band, the University of Illinois Steel Band, I-Pan Steel Groove, the Idaho State University Steel Band, and his own combo, Panak. He has twice traveled to Trinidad to perform in the national Panorama festival with the bands Potential Symphony and Starlift. He has shared the stage with pan artists such as Ray Holman, Cliff Alexis, Liam Teague, Robert Grenidge, Ken “Professor” Philmore, Tom Miller, Andy Narell, Pan Ramajay and calypso legend, David Rudder.
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