Percussive Arts Society

Five Question Friday: Marwin D. Oliveros

Marwin OliverosMarwin D. Oliveros resides in the Philippines and is heavily involved with marching and concert bands in his community. He found his way to musical ensembles a few years ago while searching for an extra-curricular activity that was both social and outdoors. Marwin began studying percussion in sixth grade and was the school’s cymbal player. Over time he developed a passion for band music and percussion performance. The summer before junior year, his band director and the local community band begin to develop a marching ensemble, and Marwin joined the snare line. From these experiences in his community, Marwin’s passion for music continued to grow, leading him to choose music as his profession. He currently teaches beginning percussion lessons, assists with the community marching ensemble, and attends the University of the Philippines as a percussion major. His goal is to continue learning to give back to the community that brought him into the music world. 

R!S: How do you find new pieces that you are interested in playing? What factors do you consider when seeking out and/or choosing new solo or chamber repertoire?

Marwin D. Oliveros: I find new pieces by watching different artists from other countries. Then, once I’m interested in a piece, I begin learning and practicing it. My top factor I consider when choosing a new solo piece or chamber repertoire is whether I feel that the piece wants me to play it. I need to feel some kind of connection in the piece.

R!S: What do you find changes about the way you play a piece as you “live” with it for a while? Do you typically perform a piece once or multiple times?

MDO: When I find myself playing a piece, I will set my whole month into a routine that is based on the piece I want to learn. I play it as much as I can, trying to make it as beautiful as I can.

R!S: How involved and in what ways is your instructor involved in your repertoire selection?

MDO: Before I became a music student, I chose my repertoire based on the artists I’ve watched. Now that I have a professor, I see the difference and feel the challenges a piece could offer. I also feel changes in my playing because my professor chooses pieces that match my ability.

R!S: Do you finish every piece that you start to learn? If not, why not? If a piece seems like a poor fit or you struggle unusually with a piece, how do you proceed? Do you “bail” on the selection, or what changes do you make to allow yourself to complete it?

MDO: As I get involved in a new piece, I make sure that I will finish it. Most of the time I will struggle with completing the piece, so I try to play the whole piece but in different sections every day until my desired routine is done, then I will extend my routine. This is especially true if I feel some section of the piece still needs to be polished.

R!S: What is one particularly favorite piece of repertoire you’ve performed and why?

MDO: One of my favorite pieces is “Africa Hot” by Dr. John Wooton. I performed it in my final exam in my first year of college. This piece has become my favorite because when I was starting to learn snare drum, one of the artists I watched was Dr. John Wooton. This piece is one of the ones I watched the most. It gives me a lot of motivation to be the best I can be.

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