Story last updated at 3:48 p.m. Thursday, October 31, 2002

Ethos brings lively beat
by Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: entertainment

  Photo provided
Members of the Ethos Percussion Group will visit Homer this week, providing drumming lessons and a concert with a unique collection of instruments.  
From the band's name, music lovers might assume that the performers of percussion band Ethos hail from a faraway land where the drum is still considered a primary instrument.

Not so, as a glance at their press picture will tell you. These are New Yorkers, complete with goatees and leather jackets.

According to Ethos' reviews, however, it doesn't matter what street corner of the world you hail from, percussion music is moving in a guttural way.

Ethos Percussion Group concert

  • Where: Mariner Theatre

  • When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

  • Tickets: $14 general admission, $12 for gallery members, $10 for students.

  • More Info: 235-4288

  • Ethos consists of performers Michael Sgouros, Trey Files, Eric Phinney and Yousif Sheronick and tours extensively throughout the United States performing concerts and educational demonstrations with a laundry list of instruments.

    Their music ranges from ethnic beats of South America, India, Africa and the Pacific Rim to contemporary compositions for percussion.

    For its Homer program, Ethos has collaborated with the Homer High School choir to perform Missa Luba, a Congolese-style mass for mixed chorus and percussion in English and Latin texts.

    Ethos has played together for a decade and has released several recordings during that time. Most recently, Ethos produced "The Persistence of Past Chemistries," but in the past dabbled in percussion chamber music with the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra Connoisseur Society.

    Reviewers from across the country have commented on the musicians' ability to woo even reluctant audiences who might consider the idea of music completely composed of percussion as less than whole.

    "By the evening's end," one reviewer wrote, "the audience realized that it had been coaxed into an incredible world where the possibilities of rhythm and sound through percussion were not only infinite but intriguing, and responded with enthusiasm."

    In producing this effect, the percussionists draw from a grab-bag of instruments, some of which, the musicians admit, were purchased at Home Depot. These include carved wooden tubes, congas, triangles, a marimba, xylophone, 7-foot-long PVC pipe and more.

    During their stay in Homer, they will offer a drumming workshop at 7 p.m. Monday at the Homer Council on the Arts. Cost is $15.

    Carey James can be reached at