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PAS New Jersey Day of Percussion 2002
Part One: Performances
What's the PAS?
Officially formed in 1961 from a group of fourteen concerned percussionists, today the PAS has more than 7,500 members in chapters throughout the United States and around the world. In addition to inducting some of the most important people in percussion into its Hall of Fame, the PAS Composition Contest has encouraged the creation of hundreds of new works, many of which are now part of the standard percussion repertoire.
If you'd like to support drums and percussion, and receive access to lots of online info and free events to boot, think about joining the PAS. There's even a special online ePAS membership available at a reduced rate. (See the Percussive Arts Society in the sidebar for more details.)
In 1971, the PAS began holding performances and clinics called "Days of Percussion." These are free events that feature the world's top drum talent. I highly recommend that you find your local PAS chapter and go out to these events.
I attended this year's DOP at the New Jersey Chapter, which was organized by NJ Chapter President Glenn Weber (who also happens to be a former instructor of mine), and I had a great day.
In addition to the talent on stage, there was certainly no lack of talent in the audience. Top notch drummer Danny Gottlieb (a Morello student) was there as was session drummer Andy White. For those of you not familiar with Andy, he (not Ringo) appears on some of the early Beatle recordings and he has worked with a number of great artists including John McLaughlin, Jimmy Page, and Tom Jones. Damon Weber, Glenn's son and also an in-demand performer and teacher, was there too.
I was surprised to meet a number of my site members there as well, one of whom came all the way from Massachusetts to catch the event.
For those of you who could not attend, here in words, photos, and audio is what you missed.
First up was The Ridgewood High School Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Gary Fink.
The students performed percussion ensemble pieces that included the use of the human body and voice, as you'll hear in the first of these two audio clips:
The Tenefly High School Percussion Ensemble, led by Dr. Walter Schneider, was next to perform. Listen to a sampling of their performance:
How does she do it? She performs barefooted and predominantly identifies notes from the vibrations she feels in her feet and body.
I was disappointed that Evelyn didn't actually perform. Instead, she critiqued student performances as they played on a snare drum, marimba, and timpani. Here, in a nutshell, is what she recommended for improvement:
In addition to the above, Evelyn had a general tip for percussion ensemble members that deals with the visual aspect of performance: "Lower your music stands so the audience can see your faces and body movements as opposed to the wall of black created by the music stands. This will put you more in touch with your audience."
All in all, it was a good session and I believe the audience (and the students whose performances were being ripped to shreds, I mean, critiqued) learned a lot!
Active in the Orlando Florida area as a teacher, clinician, and performer, Danny presented a program on Rudimental drumming, which as appropriate for a drummer who is the 1989 and 1990 Drum Corps Associates Individual Snare Drum Champion.
Danny stressed the importance of learning rudiments for all drummers, regardless of style. He also recommended listening to drummers of all styles and suggested that you record yourself using audio and/or video for self-improvement.
And, concerning drum corps competitions, Danny suggests going against the stereotype and doing something different. (I couldn't agree more.)
Here's an audio clip of a solo Danny wrote that has been published with Rudimental Publications and in the recent Pro-Mark snare solo book Ziggadabuzz. Check it out:
Click the following link for PAS New Jersey Day of Percussion 2002: Part 2!
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