Percussion Ensemble Performs World Premiere

Student composer Aaron Krause has written a piece that focuses on Japanese folklore and the rise and fall of samurai. It incorporates keyboard instruments and percussion.

The Alma College Percussion Ensemble will perform its spring concert featuring a new student composition by Aaron Krause as well as jazz and steel drum repertoire at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 16 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.

“I composed a piece for a group of seven players,” says Krause, a junior from Kentwood. “It’s a Japanese-oriented big ensemble that incorporates keyboard instruments and percussion.”

Krause will conduct his own work, says David Zerbe, associate professor of music.

“It’s a really neat piece,” says Zerbe. “We haven’t had a student conductor in a concert in a while, so this is really cool that we get to do the world premiere of Aaron’s work.”

Krause began composing the piece during his freshman year at Alma. The piece focuses on Japanese folklore, a passion for Krause, and the rise and fall of samurai.

“My favorite thing about this show, and every other show I’ve done, is the stage aspect, being able to be there with the other performers and show that we’re feeling the music in the same way,” says Krause. “It’s a jam up there, and that within itself is a great part.”

Working on the music through the semester and watching the students develop are enjoyable aspects of directing the percussion ensemble, says Zerbe.

“I love creating different sounds by blending different instruments,” says Zerbe. “That’s a huge part of the process toward making a performance happen that I really enjoy.”

The concert also will feature “Black Market,” originally written for the popular 1970s and ’80s band Whether Report. Zerbe began the arrangement over 20 years ago. He recently came across it and asked fifth-year student Anthony Audia to finish it.

The concert will feature several other pieces and may include tunes performed at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in February.

Story published on April 04, 2016