Performed by the Denkyem Percussion Group

Available through the composer

Instrumentation: 1 pair of Bongos, 1 pair of Congas, 1 set of Timbales, 2 Tom-toms (high), 2 Tom-toms (mid), 2 Tom-toms (low), 1 Bass Drum, 1 Triangle for each player

Program Notes:

The idea behind Sharps is a very simple one…Can I musically tattoo an audience? Can I write a piece that is so accessible and unwavering, so blatant and incessant in its point that the theme basically brands itself into the minds of the audience? That is the idea behind Sharps.

Sharps was written at a rather brisk pace between December of 2009 and February 2010 for my friends in the Denkyem Percussion Group. It was commissioned by them through the efforts of Megan Arns in the beginning of November 2009 for their performance at the “Promising Artists of the 21st Century” festival hosted by the North American Cultural Center, Costa Rica in March of 2010. The U.S. Premier occured a few weeks later at Florida State University where the group resides. My sincere thanks to all of the members of the Denkyem Percussion Group (Justin Alexander, Megan Arns, Brian Baldauff, Adam Groh, Daniel Lyons, and Luis Rivera) for the opportunity to write for such an amazing group of performers. Thanks also goes to Dr. John Parks at Florida State University for his help and encouragement throughout the composition of Sharps.


“This six-minute percussion sextet was commissioned by and dedicated to the Denkyem Percussion Group. The work is largely drum based with each player on bongos, congas, timbales, bass drum, or double sets of toms. Additionally, each player performs interlocking rhythms on triangles during transitional sections. Nozny states that his intent is to ‘musically tattoo an audience,’ which is successfully accomplished by anchoring the piece around a simple three-note motive. This motive is heard throughout the composition in its original condition and in statements processed through varying levels of diminution and augmentation. The resulting effect achieves the composer’s intent to create a work “so blatant and incessant in its point that it brands itself into the minds of the audience.’ Nozny handles texture shifts, dynamic transfers, and meter changes with such expression and maturity that the motive does not become stale, but rather becomes the rhythmic glue that binds the parts together. Much of the interest of the piece lies in the rhythmic modulations, which can be easily grasped by players of varying ability levels. This piece can serve well for college percussionists as an introduction to the writing style of composers such as Rouse and Dietz.” – Joshua D. Smith – Percussive Notes, September 2010

Sample Score [Sharps] COMING SOON

The Denkyem Percussion Group (Adam Groh, Brian Baldauff, Luis Rivera, Megan Arns, Justin Alexander, and Daniel Lyons) at the US Premier of Sharps.