Southeast Percussion Ensemble and Steel Drum Band to Make Beats with Guest Artists March 24



March 22, 2011 – Jay Contrino and William James will join the Southeast Missouri State University Percussion Ensemble and the Southeast Steel Drum Band in an evening of upbeat, springtime music March 24. 

The concert, featuring songs such as “Margaritaville,” “Jamaica Farewell,” “Down Past Midnight” and “Baja,” begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at the River Campus. 

Contrino, on the drum set, has played a wide variety of music styles and genres in his professional career including pop, rock, smooth jazz, funk, big band, country, show band and Broadway.  He has been on stage on cruise ships, theme parks, small clubs, hotels, symphony halls and jazz festivals.  Contrino received a bachelor of music degree in performance from Berklee College of Music and a master of music degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas.  He recently completed a tour throughout the United States with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

As one of the youngest principal percussionists in the country, James plays the xylophone with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.  He earned the position when he was just 25 years old.  He received a bachelor of music degree from Northwestern University in 2004 and a master’s degree from New England Conservatory in 2006.  He then was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Fla., before moving to St. Louis.


Tickets may be purchased at the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling (573) 651-2265.  Tickets also may be purchased at any MetroTix outlet, online at, keyword “percussion”, or by calling toll-free: (800) 293-5949.