Percussion Ensemble Plans ‘Lift Off’

“This year’s ensemble is young, and they are playing great. There is a lot of new talent, and I am excited for the future.”— David Zerbe

Alma percussion. A busy performance season for the Alma College Percussion Ensemble continues with the annual spring concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 29 in the Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall.

Tickets are $15 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.

In February, the ensemble made its 13th consecutive appearance at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, earning recognition from the judges for its performance.

“We always play our show from memory there,” says director and founder David Zerbe. “This year the judges just really dug it. Big bands often come in reading off of charts and play great, but the judges are always enthused that we take our performance to the next level.”

The program for the spring concert includes “Lift Off” by Russell Peck, “Escape Velocity” and “Amorphous Solid” by Dave Hall, “Xylophonia” by Joe Green, “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and “Milestones” by Miles Davis. “Absoludicrous” by Gordan Goodwin and “Lingus” by Michael League also will be performed.

After this winter term, the Percussion Ensemble plans two tours. The first will be a week-long series of performances in late April, including an appearance at the Thornapple Valley Jazz Festival in Hastings.

In May, the ensemble will play at Adrian High School and the Downriver Day of Percussion, featuring Zerbe and Alma College students as clinicians.

“This year’s ensemble is young, and they are playing great,” says Zerbe. “There is a lot of new talent, and I am excited for the future.”

Story published on March 22, 2018