Dave Zerbe, Director of Percussion Studies and the Bands at Alma College, holds B.M.E. and M.M. degrees from Central Michigan University where he studied with the late Robert Hohner. Zerbe also taught in the percussion studio of Robert Hohner at C.M.U. from 1994-2000. His responsibilities included arranging and instructing the marching percussion section, percussion techniques class, private percussion lessons, and assisting with percussion ensemble. He recently began studying privately with jazz drummer Joe Morello of the famed Dave Brubeck Quartet
Zerbe is a founding member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, a professional chamber music group formerly based in Mt. Pleasant. The ensemble has six internationally acclaimed compact discs on the DMP Label: Different Strokes, Lift-Off, The Gamut, World Music Tour, Far More Drums and Third Wind. He also performed on the Albany Label release of The Percussion Music of David Maslanka, and conducted on composer David Gillingham’s compact disc entitled Stained Glass. Both compact discs were recorded by the C.M.U. Percussion Ensemble in the presence of the composers.
Zerbe has performed as a percussionist with the Alma Symphony Orchestra, Flint, Midland, Saginaw, Traverse City, and West Shore Symphonies, and as a soloist for the Flint Symphony Orchestra performance of Carman Moore’s Gospel Fuse. He was also featured with the C.M.U. Jazz Lab 1 performance of Rob McConnell’s I’ve Got Rhythm at the Montreux International Jazz Festival and Buddy Rich’s Channel One Suite arrangement at the Elmhurst and Aquinas Jazz Festivals. Performing as a free-lance musician, he has appeared with Aretha Franklin, Michael Feinstein, Marie Osmond, Sharri Williams, Jive at Five, and for Rich Little.
Zerbe hosts the Alma College/ Hohner Institute of Percussion “Summer Percussion Workshop,” and the Alma College/Hohner Institute of Percussion “Marching Band Invitational.” These two events, both in their seventh year, bring 1,000 high school and middle school students from across the state to the Alma campus.
An active arranger, he has written for many outstanding programs across the nation including the Alma College and C.M.U. marching percussion sections, Mt. Pleasant High School, Mona Shores High School, Muskegon High School, and Farmington High School in Farmington, New Mexico. Zerbe is also an active clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States and Canada.