Mines News

Release Date Thursday, October 4, 2018

Students Design, Create Marimba for October Concert

SD Mines chemical engineering student Hannah Dudak playing a marimba she and her peers, Steven Miklos and Sam Gusso, built using PVC pipes. The student team calculated the length and shape of each pipe to produce the proper pitch. 


RAPID CITY, SD (Oct. 5, 2018) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Music Department presents “Fantasy and Fright,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in the Music Center on the SD Mines campus (map here). The concert will include a performance on a student-designed and created marimba.

“Fantasy and Fright” features the Mines wind ensemble, master chorale and the newly formed men’s choir and women’s choir, performing musical selections from the dreams and nightmares of composers and authors through the centuries.

The  student-made marimba will be featured in a portion of the concert honoring the novel “Frankenstein.” The marimba is a percussion instrument usually consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with mallets. The student-made instrument is made with ordinary PVC pipe and “tuned” to the correct intonation. Engineering students worked throughout the summer to build their “creation.”

“They used their engineering skills to design and build an instrument that has precise pitches and tones,” said Haley Armstrong, D.M.A., SD Mines Director of Bands. “It’s a perfect example of how music and the arts intersect with science and engineering.”

The choirs will be directed by Matthew Bumbach, D.M.A., Mines Director of Choirs. Bumbach says the audience may recognize a few of the works because they come from popular musicians such as Vienna Tang and the band Muse. “These songs are a perfect fit for the Halloween month of October,” Bumbach says. “The choirs especially are showing how technology can turn from a dream to our nightmare.”

SD Mines Humanities professor Laura Kremmel, Ph.D., will narrate the program. Kremmel teaches and contributes research in the fields of romanticism, gothic studies and the history of medicine. In addition to narrating the concert, she will present “Making a Monster: Frankenstein at 200” at the Tuesday, Oct. 16, STEAM Café, a collaboration between Mines, Hay Camp Brewing Company and South Dakota Public Broadcasting. STEAM Café is at 6 p.m., Oct. 16, at HayCamp Brewing.

The media is invited to an open dress rehearsal at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Music Center. Armstrong, Bumbach and Kremmel will be available for interviews prior to the start of the rehearsal, and the marimba will be present for photographing or videotaping.  

Admission to the concert is free and the doors open at 7 p.m. 



About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,529 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Lynn Taylor Rick, (605) 394-2554, Lynn.TaylorRick@sdsmt.edu

Upcoming Events

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