The Eastern Illinois University Percussion Ensemble, directed by Professor Jamie V. Ryan, performs a wide variety of music, providing a rigorous, multicultural, and rewarding experience for the students in the group, as well as a rewarding experience for the audience. The ensemble emphasizes chamber music as the primary vehicle for student exploration and expression, preparing classic and new works for percussion. In addition, Mr. Ryan arranges and teaches Afro-Cuban folklore music to the ensemble, which culminates each spring at the EIU Multi-Cultural Concert which features the Choral Ensembles as well as the Percussion Ensemble.
Recently, the EIUPE has performed at the Percussive Arts Society chapter Days of Percussion in Indiana and Illinois. Several members of the EIUPE assisted Mr. Ryan at the Illinois Music Educators Association conference in January of 2013 in a presentation of Afro-Cuban music for the public school music classroom. In 2012, Mr. Ryan and the EIUPE hosted the Illinois Day of Percussion, hosting the Percussion Group Cincinnati as the headline artist.
Selected works from EIUPE programs, in addition to Afro-Cuban folklore music: Christopher Rouse Ogoun Badagris, Michael Colgrass Trio for Percussion and Inventions on a Motive, Minoru Miki Marimba Spiritual, Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic Uneven Souls and Trio per Uno, James Romig The Frame Problem, James Tenney Three Pieces for Drum Quartet.