Javanese Gamelan instruments donated to the PSU School of Music
Author: Institute for Asian Studies
Posted: February 11, 2014

Javanese Gamelan Unveiling Event

The PSU School of Music invites
members of the PSU community
and general public to attend
an Unveiling Event showcasing and celebrating the recent acquisition of a tradititonal Javanese Gamelan instrument set.  


DATE:  February 28, 2014
TIME:  6:00 PM
LOCATION:  Lincoln Hall, room 37

This event is FREE and open to the public.


Ensemble director, Mindy Johnston (Venerable Showers of Beauty, Lewis and Clark) will introduce the tradition of Javanese gamelan with a short demonstration by VSB performers. 

Beginning Spring 2014 the PSU School of Music will be offering a gamelan ensemble class, open to music majors and community members.


In September 2013, the School of Music at Portland State University received the generous donation of a Javanese gamelan from the Baltimore-based composer Robert Macht. The gamelan consists of numerous bronze gongs and kettles, double-headed drums, and ornate teak frames. With this new acquisition, the School of Music will expand its offerings with a gamelan ensemble, beginning in the spring quarter of 2014.


Robert Macht was born in 1958 and studied composition with Henry Brant and Gunnar Schonbeck at Bennington College in Vermont. He moved to Indonesia in 1980 and after an intense year of study, he returned to Baltimore with his first set of gamelan instruments. Macht taught gamelan at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and Towson University, and has written numerous compositions for gamelan, often in combination with Western orchestral instruments, percussion, or synthesizers. He remains active as a composer and performer in the Baltimore area.


The PSU School of Music is recognized primarily for its creative endeavors in Western classical music and jazz. The addition of a taiko ensemble (formed in 2011) and a gamelan ensemble reflects the growth and international reach of Portland State University, the College of the Arts, and the School of Music.


Numerous faculty members, administrators, and community musicians were involved in the acquisition of the gamelan for Portland State University, including Bonnie Miksch (Professor of Music Composition), Bryan Johanson (Director, School of Music), Jonathan Fink (Vice President for Research and Strategic Partnerships), Brett Campbell (Classical Music Editor, Willamette Week), and Mindy Johnston (Director, The Venerable Showers of Beauty).


For more information, contact:

The PSU School of Music at 503-725-3011 or by email at;
or  PSU Professor, Dr. 
Wynn Kiyama at 503-725-3195 or by email at