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Percussion Ensemble Performs ‘Sacrificial Rite’ and More

“I like to program pieces that provide variety and are engaging for the audience. The pieces also must provide a musical challenge and growth for my students. These selections do this.” — Dave Zerbe

Percussion EnsemblePercussion Ensemble

The Alma College Percussion Ensemble presents its annual fall concert with a program that includes pieces by composers Steve Reich, David Gillingham, Bob Becker, Michael Burritt, Dave Grusin, Pat Metheny and Stevie Wonder.

The performance takes place at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 in the Remick Heritage Center, Presbyterian Hall. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and over, and free for Alma College staff, students, and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. For ticket information, call (989) 463-7304.

“I like to program pieces that provide variety and are engaging for the audience,” says Dave Zerbe, ensemble director. “The pieces also must provide a musical challenge and growth for my students. These selections do this.”

The show opens with “Music for Pieces of Wood” by Reich, a rhythmic and intricate piece written for five tuned claves.

Other works include “White Pines,” featuring percussion intern and assistant director Dave Fair on marimba, and “Mudra,” featuring Zavien Stickler, a senior music major, on a tuned drum.

“Sacrificial Rite” was written by Gillingham, a world-renowned composer and one of Zerbe’s college professors. Zerbe’s collegiate percussion ensemble performed this piece when it premiered in the mid-1990s. He describes it as “aggressively rhythmic and really exciting to play and listen to.”

The second half of the concert will feature the Jazz Percussion and Steel Drum Ensemble performing “Oasis,” “Song for My Father,” “Sir Duke” and more.

“Hopefully, we’re just scribing a musical ‘arc’ with all of the selections, providing the students an opportunity to play music at a really deep level and for the audience to experience a performance that is passionate and extremely musical,” says Zerbe.

Story published on November 06, 2019