Ralph Sorrentino, Assistant Chair of Applied Music, will play 25 performances of The Nutcracker for the Pennsylvania Ballet at the majestic Academy of Music. As Section Percussionist for the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Sorrentino has played for Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker since 2008, totaling more than 225 performances to date.
The Ridley Township native who now resides in Newark, Del., joined the percussion faculty at West Chester University in 2004. He teaches Applied Percussion, is the Assistant Chair of the Department, and directs the Percussion Ensemble. He also serves as Principal Percussionist with Opera Philadelphia and is a substitute percussionist for The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, among others.
His debut solo percussion album, multiplicity, was released in October of 2014.
“Even after 225 performances, I am always amazed by Tchaikovsky’s unique and colorful percussion scoring,” said Sorrentino. “The Nutcracker includes exciting moments for timpani, tambourine, snare drum, glockenspiel, and several other percussion instruments.”
“One of my favorite aspects of performing The Nutcracker is seeing families bring their children to the rail at the edge of the orchestra pit prior to a performance, in order to point out the instruments of the orchestra. The Pennsylvania Ballet’s production serves as a beloved family tradition for many families in the Greater Philadelphia region, and I’m honored to be associated with the ballet company.”
Sorrentino joins several of his Wells School of Music colleagues on area stages this holiday season.
Fellow percussionist David Nelson will join Sorrentino for The Nutcracker, and will also perform in the Philly Pops Christmas show. Classical guitarist and Grammy Award winner David Cullen also performs with the Philly Pops. Assistant Professor of Tuba and Euphonium, Jonathan Fowler, recently played the Celtic Woman: The Best of Christmas tour.