Concert Band Performs ‘Angels of the Apocalypse’

Annual spring concert features variety of musical works performed by Alma’s Kiltie Wind Ensemble and the Wind and Percussion Consort.

<em>Director Dave Zerbe and the Kiltie Wind Ensemble<br><br></em>Director Dave Zerbe and the Kiltie Wind Ensemble

Alma College’s concert bands will perform contemporary and traditional wind band literature at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 3 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 concert will include the Kiltie Wind Ensemble performing “Commando March” by Samuel Barber, “Serenity” by Ola Gjeilo featuring an extended oboe solo performed by senior Phillip Commissaris, excerpts from Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and “Mambo” from the musical “Westside Story.”

Guinea Pigs for Creating New Sounds

The Wind and Percussion Consort will perform Jack Stamp’s “Fanfair for a New Era,” “Dusk” by Steven Briant, “Night on Fire” by John Mackey and “Angels of the Apocalypse” by David Gillingham.

“Angels of the Apocalypse” was originally a percussion ensemble piece that Japanese band director Minoru Otaki commissioned to be reworked as a wind ensemble piece.

“Different sections of the piece portray each of the angels of the apocalypse,” says David Zerbe, associate professor of music. “I’ve been a fan of Gillingham’s work for a long time. He was the composition professor at Central Michigan University when I went there, and we were his guinea pigs for creating new sounds. It was fun to be able to work with him for an extended period.”

Music That Catches the Imagination

The concert will consist of different kinds of music without any specific theme, says Zerbe.

“I try to make sure each show has a wide variety of music,” says Zerbe. “There’s a little something that everyone can relate to, and maybe through that they can relate to the other music. I like all the music and how it fits together.”

Zerbe begins listening to prospective music around May for the coming spring concert. He keeps a running list of ideas on which he notes when something has been played.

“I narrow the list once I get into the fall season of marching band when I have a better idea of how the band plays,” says Zerbe. “I pick literature that they will play well, but that will stretch them. The piece also has to catch my imagination. I have to have a connection to it.”

Story published on March 21, 2016