Special to the Times-Tribune
University of the Cumberlands (UC) student Johnathan Elliott presented his senior percussion recital Friday, April 13, in the Nell Moore Recital Hall in UC’s Grace Crum Rollins Fine Arts Center.
Elliott performed seven different percussion pieces on different instruments including marimba, vibraphone, snare drum and a piece including 14 drums. Two of his pieces were duets: “Ketjak” performed with fellow student Zach Purdie, and “Homage a Mi Amigo” performed with percussionist Casey Barnard.
An important piece that Elliott performed at his recital was “Amazing Grace.” He has always wanted to play that piece of music and chose to for a very special reason.
“My papaw died when I was 10, but in that time, he had a very powerful impact on my life and helped me realize the type of man that I want to be. He was a very religious man and he would often sing this song while playing his guitar. I wanted to play “Amazing Grace” to give him honor so that others would know what kind of man he was. Even though he is no longer here today, I know where he is, and that is the greatest comfort of all. Anything I can do to keep his memory alive I will do. For me, I feel like this was the best I could do, and music after all, is what my life revolves around, so in return, my gift to him is my music.”
Attending UC was actually a last-minute decision for Elliott. After his high school marching band season ended it hit him that he would never have the chance to march again so he changed his college choice to UC so that he could pursue a music major.
After graduation, Elliott hopes to get a job as a band director in East Tennessee.
“I’m going to trust God will move me where he wants me to go. I’m very interested in pursuing my master’s in religion, but that part of my future is still a little bit cloudy. I know I want to teach and that will be my first priority,” Elliott says in regards to his future.
Elliot is from Jacksboro, Tenn. where he graduated from Campbell County High School in 2008. He is the son of Terry and Susan Elliott.
“My parents have always been the greatest support I could have asked for. I have been very blessed to have parents who were willing to make any sacrifice required to help me become who I am. Alexis Tickle has also been one of the biggest supporters in what I want to do with my life and has spent many hours in the practice room listening to me play.”
Elliott had much to say about percussion instructor Jim Corcoran who has been his private lessons instructor at UC.
“I wouldn’t have made it this far without Jim Corcoran. He always knew how far he could push me to make me better. Not enough can be said about the influence he has had on my life, and I’m happy to say that when I do finally walk away from UC, I will have made a lifelong friend that I know I will always be able to go to in times of need, whether about my career or life in general.”