Percussionist perfectly dodges a flying bass drum mallet in a hilariously dramatic 1812 Overture

2 July 2019, 17:46

By Kyle Macdonald

Quick reactions were needed in the percussion section during this Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky’s musical depiction of the early 19th-century Franco-Russian war took a very real turn at this concert.

In a performance recorded in April, the percussion section of Westlake High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble in Ohio became a war zone, with flying projectiles courtesy of an (admirably) overly-enthusiastic bass drum player.

The bass drum taking the famous canon line, percussionist Nicholas Schwochow gives an almighty thwack to his instrument. Unaware of his own strength, he loses grasp of the mallet, which flies off over several instruments, directly towards a fellow percussionist on cymbals.

All truly apt for a musical representation of canon fire.

Then, cue a perfectly-executed duck without missing a note, cannon pounds with a clenched fist, and finally an elegant retrieval of the mallet.

The music never stops, nor is a note lost. What a fantastic example of musicians continuing the show, no matter what. The ensemble’s director Ms. Hilary Patriok has clearly done a great job.

We say bravo to all (and we also say stay safe out there).