What Are Crotales? Percussion Ensemble Provides the Answer

The annual fall concert features brake drums, frying pans, Almglocken, crotales and a variety of other unique percussion instruments.

<em>The Alma College Percussion Ensemble</em> The Alma College Percussion Ensemble

Audience members will see and hear some unusual instruments, including steel drums, Almglocken, crotales, brake drums and frying pans, at the Alma College Percussion Ensemble’s upcoming fall concert.

The ensemble performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 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.

Charts to be performed in the first half include “Okho” by Iannis Xenakis, “Spine” by Michael Laurello and “Gainsborough” by Thomas Gauger.

<em>Percussion Ensemble</em> Percussion EnsembleThe second half will feature “Black Market” by Joe Zawinul, “The Falcon Will Fly Again” by Brad Mehldau, “The Rotten Kid” by Buddy Greco, “Always and Forever” by Pat Metheny, and “Pyxis” by CJ Menge.

“I like to provide a diverse program,” says David Zerbe, director of bands and percussion studies. “My intention is to give the audience something to grab onto so that they might open up their ears to something they are not accustomed to. To anyone who hasn’t seen the group, I guarantee that you would enjoy it.”

A variety of instruments are played during percussion concerts. These include Almglocken, the German name for alpine bells, and crotales, which are sometimes called antique cymbals.

Zerbe founded the ensemble in 1989 and continues to oversee it. This year, percussion intern David Fair is assisting. The ensemble has traveled to several national music festivals over the years.

Currently, the ensemble is waiting to learn if its audition has earned the group’s 12th consecutive appearance at the prestigious University of Notre Dame’s Annual Collegiate Jazz Festival. If accepted, the ensemble will perform numbers from the second half of the show.

Student performers include:

  • Andrew Belanger, Holland junior
  • Molly Bosek, Roseville sophomore
  • Jordan Campbell, Alma first-year student
  • Anna Dobyns, Mcbrides first-year student
  • Shanley Dorn, Lewiston senior
  • Jeremy Fieber, Lake Orion sophomore
  • Brianna Fitzpatrick, Onaway junior
  • Jill Kemper, Shelbyville senior
  • James Gaddy, Southfield junior
  • Brianne Giddis, Traverse City first-year student
  • Dane Grimes, Adrian first-year student
  • Jake Holt, Howell first-year student
  • Aubree Hooper, Farwell sophomore
  • Danny Lynch, Caledonia first-year student
  • Sara Jacobs, Grand Haven junior
  • Aaron Krause, Kentwood senior
  • Rachel Nemeth, Perry senior
  • Logan St. John, Weidman junior
  • Zavien Stickler, Essexville sophomore
  • Mollie Strunk, Rockford first-year student
  • Ivy Vanpoppelen, Dryden first-year student
Story published on November 16, 2016