World Premiere of DARK SKY for SATB Choir, Marimba Quartet, Percussion Ensemble and Piano at Kutztown University April 8-9

Death Valley Symphony: Dark Sky
Music by Jenni Brandon
Poem by Brandon Krieg


World Premieres at Kutztown University, Pennsylvania with Heartland Marimba, Kutztown University Percussion Ensemble, Kutztown University Choirs
April 8, 2024: Wells-Rapp Center for Mallet Percussion Research
April 9, 2024: Georgian Room, Old Main Building, Kutztown University

For Tickets and LIVESTREAM information, visit Wells-Rapp Center for Mallet Percussion Research – Resonators Echo Spring Festival (

Dark Sky – a new work by California composer Jenni Brandon for Marimba Quartet, Percussion Ensemble, SATB choir and Piano explores the beauty of Death Valley National Park’s pristine dark skies using original poetry by Brandon Krieg, Kutztown University Professor of English and Poetry. Part of a concert-length work, this movement “Dark Sky” is a cross-country collaboration between Heartland Marimba Quartet, Kutztown University Percussion Ensemble, in addition to Southern Utah University’s Percussion Ensemble, Choir, and Film Department.

With some of the darkest night skies in the United States, Death Valley is designated as a “Dark Sky Park” and offers a view of celestial objects often not visible in any other part of the world. Using the colors of the ensemble, this work will take the audience on a journey through the world’s hottest place on Earth illuminated by the light of stars to see the parks many animals, badlands, sand dunes, multi-hued hills and craters illuminated by the light of the night sky, and to look beyond into the vast universe.

Premieres during the 2023-2024 season include two performances at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania to celebrate the inaugural year of the Wells-Rapp Center for Mallet Percussion Research at Kutztown University.

Additional movements of this work are commissioned and premiered by Heartland Marimba Quartet and Duo Lin-Lynn. The work “Clay Pipes and Spiral Shells” for marimba duo with narrator (with poetry by Brandon Krieg) will appear on Duo Lin-Lynn’s upcoming album release in 2024.