Alma College presents Resonance on March 3rd

Alma College brings to West Michigan a concert that will showcase the talents of students and highlight the variety of performance opportunities at the college.

“Resonance: A Celebration of the Performing Arts” will feature the Alma College Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Dance Company, Pipe Band and Highland Dancers in concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at DeVos Performance Hall. As part of the concert, more than 250 guest performers from West Michigan area high schools will join the college performance groups on stage for a dramatic musical finale.

“DeVos is a beautiful hall with great acoustics,” says Dave Zerbe, director of the Alma College Percussion Ensemble. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to perform in an excellent venue for an audience keen on hearing good music. 

Tickets are $20. Tickets are on sale at the Alma College Resonance website,, at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, Ticketmaster ticket centers, 1-800-745-3000 and High school students ordering through Alma College may request one free ticket to the performance.

“Our students recognize that this concert will be something special,” says Will Nichols, Secrest Professor of Music and director of choirs. “The Alma Choir has always been a microcosm of the college — choir members are also scholars and athletes, and they are part of all the things that make Alma College such an exciting place.”

Featuring more than 100 Alma College singers, instrumentalists and dancers, the performance is designed to serve a trio of functions. A recruitment event, alumni party and college visibility initiative all wrapped together, “Resonance” features Alma College’s premier ensembles. The Alma Choir, the college’s primary touring choir, will perform a variety of works, ranging from well-known spirituals to American folk songs to cathedral classics and traditional works. The choir will join with the Percussion Ensemble and seven members of the Dance Company for a movement of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”

“The style of dance choreography for ‘Carmina Burana’ is contemporary and inspired by ‘The Hunger Games’ as well as paintings on the wall of a chapel in Lublin, Poland,” says Jenifer Sarver, Alma College dance instructor. “The costumes are simple, but the dancers’ makeup will reflect current trends in the major couture fashion houses.”

The 30-member Percussion Ensemble has performed around the United States, including eight consecutive years at the invitation-only Notre Dame Jazz Festival. The ensemble will perform student-produced arrangements of jazz and steel drum pieces as well as a new work by David Maslanka titled “Hurdling Through Space (at unimaginable speed).” The piece features 15 percussion ensemble players, piano, double bass and a set of exotic instruments.

Also performing will be Alma College’s award-winning Highland Arts ensembles. The Pipe Band concluded its 2012 competition season with a first place finish in grade five at the St. Louis Highland Games in St. Louis, Mo., while the members of the Alma Highland Dancers have collectively won seven championship titles, 11 national qualification titles and hundreds of trophies and overall competition titles.

The Grand Rapids concert is the second annual “Resonance” performance. In March 2012, the Alma College ensembles performed “Resonance” at the Detroit Opera House in downtown Detroit.