Percussion Ensemble Performs 'Tsunami'
Works featuring traditional Japanese taiko drums and Caribbean-influenced steel drums plus new compositions by a pair of mid-Michigan composers will highlight the annual spring performance of the Alma College Percussion Ensemble.
The ensemble performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 6 in the Remick Heritage Center. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
The Alma College Percussion Ensemble
The program includes the world premiere of “John Cage Smiles” by Alma College faculty composer Murray Gross and “Unity” by Central Michigan University’s David Gillingham.
Gross, the director of the Alma Symphony Orchestra, wrote his piece to celebrate Cage’s influence on Western music.
“This is a cool piece, very rhythmic with lots of tone colors,” says Dave Zerbe, faculty director of Alma’s Percussion Studio. “There are sections of dry wood sound, metallic instruments, keyboard melodies and drumming. The piece starts with a single person playing an earthy bell, which is intended to clear the ears and prepare the listener for what is to come.”
The Percussion Ensemble also will perform “Tsunami,” which features a variety of percussion instruments, including taiko drums, tom toms, congas, anvils, wind chimes, conch shells, temple blocks and gongs.
“’Tsunami’ is a very high energy work that was originally composed for the feature film ‘Rising Sun,’” says Zerbe. “We will be playing it on actual Japanese taiku drums. We have never done a piece like this, and our students are excited to perform it.”
Other works on the program include “Steelband Paradise” by Ray Holman, “Return to Forever” by the band of the same name, “Time Check“ by Don Menza, “Last Train Home” by Pat Metheny and “Beirut,” a piece by Steps Ahead that fuses Middle-Eastern melodic influences with modern jazz improvisations and harmonies.
Posted: Wed, March 27th, 2013 at 8:27AM