Bateria Alegria is the primary performing ensemble of the Boulder Samba School, composed of 20-30 percussionists. The ensemble plays percussion-based styles of music from Rio de Janeiro (samba batucada) and Salvador (samba reggae). The music incorporates a mixture of African, European, and indigenous influences and traditions. These styles of music are traditionally played during the carnival parades throughout Brazil and can be heard in Brazilian concert stages, dance clubs, neighborhoods, and soccer matches.
The bateria (percussion ensemble) is made up of a number of different instruments, including the surdo, (bass drums played with mallets), caixa (snare drum), repenique, tamborim, chocalho, and agogo bell.
Bateria Alegria performs the first Friday of most months on the Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder, attracting large crowds, and has performed at the Fox Theater, the Boulder Theater, Euphoria Lounge, The Mercury Cafe, the University of Colorado International Festival, the Boulder Creek Festival, the Boulder Village Arts Coalition International Festival, the Hill Flea Market, the Boulder Green Streets Festival, and the Boulder and Denver Lights of December Parades.
Bateria Alegria accepts new members! The best way for beginners to get involved is to enroll in an Intro Class Series, which is offered every 1-3 months. In these classes, participants will learn about the instruments, techniques, and rhythms of the bateria, and upon completion, qualified participants may be invited to join regular Bateria Alegria classes. More experienced percussionists may contact musical director Carl Dixon to schedule an audition/lesson.
Bateria Alegria currently holds classes on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Most members attend at least one rehearsal per week. The tuition is $120/per semester, with three semesters (spring, summer, and fall) each year. Tuition covers regular classes, guest workshops, and the use of BSS drums (although many members own their own drums). Members include professional musicians, college students, scientists, lawyers, teachers, singers, dancers, and more, including many people with no previous organized musical experience.