More than 100 middle and high school students, plus guest artists of note, will perform as part of the “Evening of Percussion” set for 8 p.m. Saturday at the Odessa High School Performing Arts Center, 1301 N. Dotsy Ave.

Admission is $10 admission; children 5 and under get in free.

Odessa High School Associate Director of Bands Jimmy Olague said the event involves musicians from his campus, along with OHS and its feeder campuses Crockett, Bowie and Ector middle schools.

Guest artists will include Lalo Davila, director of percussion at Middle Tennessee State University, Paulo Stagnaro, currently the percussionist for Ricky Martin, and Andres Forero, who is the drummer for the Broadway musical “Hamilton” currently.

This is the 14th edition of “Evening of Percussion.”

Earlier on Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., a retirement party is scheduled for longtime Director of Bands Billy Harden in the new band hall on campus. Olague said he hopes people who attend Harden’s celebration will stay around for the “Evening of Percussion” later.

Olague describes it as a high-energy, Latin-themed concert. Percussion includes drums and the melodic instruments are marimbas, xylophones and vibraphones, for example.

“… It will definitely have you moving in your seat. It is not like you think a normal school band concert would be,” Olague said. “… We always do Latin style because we like it over here. The audience seems to like it a lot, too, because it’s just full of energy.”

For the past month, directors from the feeder campuses have picked tunes they want to perform. If he’s able, Olague said he visits those schools to listen to the musicians. He said the directors on those campuses understand the importance of this concert and the expectations for the students.

There will be a couple of dress rehearsals with the guest artists so the students will know how the pieces will sound with everyone in place, Olague said.

On Friday, the guest artists will work and play music with the students, and possibly, have a Q&A with them.

Davila performed with the OHS drumline at the ECISD convocation in August 2017.

“He really wowed the crowd and had 3,500 people on their feet,” Olague said.

Stagnaro also has played with world-renowned Latin saxophone player Paquito D’Rivera.

Forero played with OHS students as a drummer in “In the Heights.”

“We did that as a marching show one year, so we ended up Skyping with Lin (Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer, lyricist, performer and writer). He Skyped with the whole band,” Olague said.

He added that it’s on YouTube.

This will be Stagnaro’s first year, Forero’s second and Davila’s 14th, Olague said.

“This will be Lalo’s 14th year. We’ve become great friends,” Olague said.

Olague said he’s always proud of the students when he sees the final product.

Luke Kidd, a 17-year-old sophomore, and Jacob Rodriguez, a 17-year-old junior, are two OHS musicians who will be in the show. Kidd plays the drum set and Rodriguez will play mallets for the concert.

Mallets are keyboard instruments made out of wood that are played with mallets, Kidd said.

Both youngsters are looking forward to the show and being around the guest artists.

“Lalo, he’s fun to be around. He just always makes everything fun all the time,” Rodriguez said.

He added that he’s looking forward to working with Stagnaro and Forero, too.

Kidd said it’s interesting to get other people’s musical points of view and the students can pick up pointers, as well.

“It’s really fun to play with professionals that have been doing this for 40 or 50 years, pretty much, and it’s really fun just to learn new things all the time,” Kidd said. “We get to learn different types of style of music constantly.”

Rodriguez said the evening is inspirational and Kidd added that it makes you want to get up out of your seat and dance.

“I invite everybody to come, (even if) you don’t listen to music … because just coming to this and seeing what a group of teens can put on and … young kids it’s really, really cool to watch,” Rodriguez said.

He added that other young people attending the show may be inspired to get into music, as well.

Olague said tickets are being auctioned off for VIP seats for the “Evening of Percussion.” If they are sold out by Thursday, they will start selling for a 6 p.m. show May 19.

Those who receive VIP seats will get an 11 by 17 poster and a Sharpie. They will be the first to be seated and be the first in line for the meet-and-greet afterward, Olague said.

If You Go
  • What: “Evening of Percussion.”
  • When: 8 p.m. Saturday.
  • Where: Odessa High School Performing Arts Center, 1301 N. Dotsy Ave.
  • Admission: $10 admission; children 5 and younger get in free.
Billy Harden Retirement Celebration
  • What: Retirement celebration for longtime OHS Director of Bands Billy Harden.
  • When: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: The new OHS band hall.
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