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Percussion Ensemble Features Distinctive Sound

“This is an extremely creative bunch, and when they have a little bit of extra room to stretch with styles that highlight improvisation and groove, the ensemble really shines.” — Joe Moscheck

Percussion EnsemblePercussion EnsembleThe Alma College Percussion Ensemble’s annual spring concert will feature the distinctive sound of marimbas, steel pans, keyboards and more.

The performance will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in the Remick Heritage Center. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for all Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.

The first half of the concert will feature standard, contemporary percussion ensemble literature and a piece that is “more or less” a marimba quartet with “some other fun sounds and colors sprinkled in,” says Joe Moscheck, percussion intern.

The second half of the concert will feature adapted jazz music, selected specifically for the ensemble’s style.

“Some of the arrangements are simply just lead sheets for jazz standards using keyboards and steel pans, while others are big band arrangements that are more thorough and specific to an ensemble like ours,” says Moscheck.

Percussion EnsemblePercussion EnsembleMoscheck, a graduate of Alma’s percussion program, has been working with the ensemble in the temporary absence of faculty director David Zerbe, who is on sabbatical this semester. This will be the first percussion ensemble function that hasn’t been primarily run by Zerbe since 1989.

“Although he isn’t around every day, he runs such a unique and consistent studio here that it’s a pretty easy group to direct even without him at the helm,” says Moscheck. “It’s been humbling stepping in for my old professor, and yet, exciting to get to work with this fun and bright group of students.

“This is an extremely creative bunch, and when they have a little bit of extra room to stretch with styles that highlight improvisation and groove, the ensemble really shines,” he says.

Moscheck appreciates the opportunities that Alma College students have.

“Many small schools such as ours don’t always have such a diverse and varied program like we have here at Alma, and it really is to the benefit of the entire student body that we have opportunities to support the arts like we have,” says Moscheck.

“As a student, I loved having the opportunity to perform for my classmates whether or not they were music students themselves,” he says. “It’s a great place to learn and to share, and it’s one of the great things about attending a school as supportive as Alma College.”

Story published on March 17, 2015
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