National Champs! Pipe Band Wins Grade 4 U.S. Open Title
The Alma College Pipe Band, competing at the Alma Highland Festival May 25-26, won the Grade Four U.S. Open Pipe Band Championship.
Drew Duncan, co-coordinator of the highland arts program at Alma and pipe band director, credits hard work, musical precision and team camaraderie for the award-winning performance.
“The competition was extremely tough,” Duncan says. “We placed first on Saturday and tied for first place on Sunday, and the tie was broken by ensemble preference.
Members of the Alma College Pipe Band
“I was impressed by how everyone in the band came together as group,” he says. “The musicians enjoy playing good music, and they really made that extra effort to practice in the weeks leading up to the Alma Highland Festival.”
In the competition, a team of piping, ensemble and drumming judges review bands for the musicality of their sections, including tone, tuning and the ability to play together. Alma College competed against pipe bands from Cleveland and Chicago.
“The students worked hard all year,” says Duncan, a veteran piper who performs as a member of the band. “All that practice time paid off in three back-to-back quality performances in the concert Friday night and the competition on Saturday and Sunday.”
Assisting with the preparation of the pipe band for competition was Dave Zerbe, director of the percussion studio at Alma College.
“My percussion students really enjoy learning this new style of playing,” says Zerbe. “It has been fun putting together the drumline for the pipe band, combining the pipes and drums in the full rehearsal situation and then getting to see the band play at such a high level when they compete. The camaraderie is outstanding! They all work so well together.”
The 2012-13 Alma College Student Pipe Band Roster
Aaron Bratys, Dublin, Ohio, junior
Michael Cataldo, Naperville, Ill., sophomore
Ava Dark, Livonia junior
Nicole Eccles, La Mesa, Calif., freshman
Brayden Fischer, Ortonville, sophomore
John MacLellan, Empire freshman
Roderick MacNeil, Brethren sophomore
Charles Sadler, Macomb Township junior
David Slusser, Grass Lake sophomore
Jack Urdiales, Akron, Ohio, freshman
Nicholas Wracan, Vernon sophomore
Scott Grant, Grand Blanc sophomore
Dave Fair, Petoskey senior, lead drummer
Jay Angus, snare drummer, Fenton senior
Kelly Gervin, snare drummer, Farwell senior
Tony Audia, snare drummer, Petoskey sophomore
Kegan Ball, snare drummer, Caledonia sophomore
Andrea Woody, lead tenor, Oxford senior
Chelsea Bertagnoli, tenor, Gaylord freshman
Stephen Salceda, tenor, Dousman, Wis., freshman
Elliot Bates, tenor, Alto freshman
Cyrus Zerbe, bass, Alma junior
Posted: Tue, June 4th, 2013 at 11:07AM