Percussion Ensemble Presents Innovative Concert
The Alma College Percussion Ensemble presents a variety of innovative and lively music at 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 22 in the Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall.
The Chamber Ensemble, Jazz Percussion and Steel Drum Ensemble, and The World Music Group, under the direction of David Zerbe, director of band and percussion ensemble, perform the music of David Maslanka, Christopher Rouse, Lyle Mays, Minoru Miki and others. the ensemble arranged the concert by researching music to produce a show that is divided into two very different halves, with great diversity within each half.
The first half is more traditional, but not classical per say. The show starts with a piece called Ogounbadagus that was composed by Minoru Miki and features primarily drums, a solo marimba, and three percussionists. The song is not actually a world piece, but it is derived from the sound of Haitian drumming and is similar to Japanese taiko drumming, which is according to Zerbe, "A pretty wild thing." Zerbe played this song a long time ago with his teacher and describes it as a really great piece that grabs the audience. There is also a Mexican marimba piece, which is traditionally a Mexican folk song.
The second half highlights the jazz percussion and steel drum groups. It includes the composition, Four, by the late world-famous jazz trumpeter Miles Davis and is played at the request of a group of Zerbe's musicians. Another tune, Highland Aire, composed by Lyle Maze in the mid 1980s is a piece that Zerbe always wanted to perform. The problem was that to produce the right sound he had to use a steel drum band and had to wait for the steel drum movement to become popular in the United States. This summer Zerbe decided that steel drums were acceptable enough to have a friend arrange the piece.
There is also an arrangement by Meslanka, Crown of Thorns, that features a large keyboard, six marimbas, two vibes and orchestra bells and a steel drum based on the sound of carnival festivals in Trinidad. But, that’s not it, "There will be a couple of surprises," promised Zerbe. "I build a varied program that will hold the audience's attention. It’s rare that we do two pieces that are even remotely alike. I really dig all of the music we're doing so it's hard to pick just one favorite. There is so much variety that there is at least one piece for everyone to identify with," said Zerbe.
Tickets are $8 for adults and free for students. Reserved seating tickets for Remick Heritage Center events may be reserved or purchased by visiting the Box Office Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. or calling (989) 463-7304. VISA, Discover and MasterCard sales are accepted. You can also order tickets via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Free tickets are not released until the day of an event or on Friday for a weekend event. Reserved tickets not claimed by 30 minutes before performance time will be made available to the general public.
Posted: Mon, November 7th, 2005 at 9:36AM