The Marysburg Festival of the Arts is beginning to wind down.The second last concert was held at Assumption Church in Marysburg on July 7.The headliner of the concert was Darrell Bueckert, who plays the marimba.Throughout the concert, Bueckert told the audience a little bit about this unusual instrument."The marimba was not known as an instrument until the 1900s (in Europe)," said Bueckert. Although the marimba was not known in Europe, it has always been a popular instrument in Guatemala."(It) is considered the national instrument of Guatemala," said Bueckert. A marimba looks a lot like a xylophone. It has keys on the top, which the musician hits with mallets. "Each mallet gives a different sound on the marimba," said Bueckert. The harder the mallet, the sharper the sound will be.
He played many different styles of music on the marimba, from Bach to rag-time music.There are not a lot of marimba compositions out there, so Bueckert had to arrange a lot of the songs he played himself, including some Bach."If he (ever) heard the marimba, (I think) he'd write everything for it," joked Bueckert.One type of music Bueckert likes arranging for the marimba are hymns."My mother is the reason I play a lot of hymns," said Bueckert.His mother wanted him to play in church, so he found a hymn book and started to arrange the hymns.Bueckert also played two songs he composed himself. They were songs for his first two sons, Michael and Evan, in Mexican and Brazilian styles.
He is in the process of composing a third song for his youngest son, Aaron."This one is going to be in the African style, said Bueckert.Aaron Bueckert was at the concert and played two duets on the marimba with his father.Greg Schulte, festival producer, also performed, playing the piano. He accompanied Bueckert for two numbers and played a few by himself.Bueckert really enjoyed playing at Assumption Church."It's a really magical space... It's added a new (dimension) to playing the marimba," said Bueckert.