Featured 15: Daedryn

Band120626a062.jpgBefore I was born, my dad was a professional drummer.  He would travel a lot, playing different concerts and shows.  He even played at the 1992 Grammy Awards with Mariah Carey!  I really looked up to him.  I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps, since I was a small child.  This was how I initially took an interest in drums.  Later on, I was able to watch the movie “Drumline
.”  That was really where my path changed.  I just fell in love with marching percussion.

Eventually my dad became very sick, always in and out of the hospital.  It was extremely hard, but I wanted to make him proud.  That’s when I decided to start playing myself.  I joined band, and never looked back.  I love my dad, he is my inspiration.  He is why I play.

Featured 15: Trevor


Today we introduce our “Featured 15” series.  15 stories in 15 days about what drives and inspires you all!  Today we begin with Trevor…

Featured 15: Trevor Kabateraine

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Unlike most who have been involved with music since elementary school (or earlier), I started being involved with music during eighth grade as a flute player. A FLUTE player, I know! At my junior high school, eighth graders are given their choice of elective classes and one of my closest friends (now the drum captain) had convinced me to join the beginning band.
I played flute from 8th to 9th grade and bassoon for concert season of my sophomore year and it was not until the fall season of sophomore year that I developed an interest in marching percussion. I was drawn to marching percussion, not only because I had a newfound ambition to march drum corps, but also because of a very important person who played a huge role in the development of my percussion fascination, my friend Josh.
Josh was a member of the snare line at the time. I messaged him during my transition from freshmen year to sophomore year regarding my choice to switch. He was not only very informative, but encouraging.  If not for him, I can guarantee i’d still be playing flute. Along with him, I became inspired by watching I&E videos of players like Chris Drummer, Keelan Tobia, Onye Eme-Akwari, and Kaito Hatura.  Additionally, players on Instagram such as Parker Matthews and Gene Abella are very important roles in my journey, as well as Elijah Jones.
I started as bass two for marching season and then during indoor season I was moved to bass five. Around the first couple months of 2015 I knew I wanted to join upper battery but I wasn’t quite sure I would be able to. I wasn’t very confident in my abilities and I convinced myself I wasn’t ready. I took the chance anyway and tried out for quads and much to my surprise, I made it! I marched quads that year (junior year) and onto senior year as well.
This indoor season I tried out for OCI (Orange County) and Odyssey Percussion, both of which I was cut from. Personally, it was a very discouraging, but I want to emphasize how crucial and enlightening it was. To quote Gridbook Series educator Mark Perrett, “You have to get cut.” Getting cut was a very humbling experience for me and it helped open up my eyes.  I didn’t think I had a guaranteed a spot, but I did have a lot of confidence because (in my mind) I played well. While it’s important for players to acknowledge their skills and potential, they need to recognize their is ALWAYS room for improvement. Like any craft, you need to be patient and you you’re going to suck at times. If you really want to get where you’re going, you’ll put in the time, work, and determination to get there; no matter the cost.
My current goal is to some day march with the Blue Knights organization.  I’m three months away from being eighteen and I recently got an opportunity to march quads with the Elan Youth Arts Ensemble. I’m finding out new things about my playing and getting better everyday. Your goal is your destination, your determination and ambition are the road. Use your passion to fuel your journey, and let your hard work steer you the rest of the way.
” Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”-Albert Einstein.

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Missing rehearsal

12249588_10101180841401611_8600554653962898725_nby J.D.

As a percussion instructor, nothing is more frustrating than spending hours planning out a rehearsal only to show up and find out that some of your key players are not in attendance.  It’s also frustrating for the line because when new material is introduced, it now has to be taught twice due to the missing members, effectively wasting valuable rehearsal time.  But we all have lives and need to miss a rehearsal from time to time.  So what is the solution?

Communication.  Players should ALWAYS inform an instructor and the line (usually reporting to a section leader) well in advance or as soon as possible.  Being sick is one thing, you may not be able to inform anyone until the day of, when you figure out that you are ill, but giving the instructor a heads up is very important anyway.  Missing for other engagements happens as well, but a week’s advance notice should be given.  Why inform everyone so far ahead?

This gives the line and the instructor ample time to gauge where the group is with learning material and allows them to tailor the rehearsal most effectively as not to waste any time. This is great for everyone because it maximizes rehearsal time and allows you to handle whatever business you may have.  And anyone who has planned for a drumline/band before knows that using your time wisely is key to having a successful season.  So if you’re going to miss rehearsal, give your line the best chance at being successful, and inform your instructor & section leader well in advance.

24k Magic

Talladega band for Trump?

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by J.D.

As the US prepares for President Elect Trump to take office, it’s no secret the stir that has been created around his campaign.  One side claiming him to be a bigot and a racist.  The other calling him a harsh yet honest man.  No matter who is correct, many minorities don’t seem too enthused with the upcoming administration.  This is why it was such a surprise when Talladega College‘s marching band agreed to perform in Trump’s inaugural parade.  “Why is that a surprise?” some may ask.  Well Talladega is defined as a Historically Black College (HBCU).  Why, when the minority community is at such odds with such a powerful politician, would a Black school want to openly support such a person?  Some in the Black band world say: Exposure.

url.jpgTalladega is not considered one of the country’s foremost college bands, or even one of the foremost Black bands.  So the program has had its share of struggles within the school’s 152 year history.  Some speculate that they could possibly be looking for a way to put their school/program on the map.  Additional sources also report that many bands declined the invitation to perform, including Washington D.C. high schools that normally attend the event every 4-8 years.  Other bands that attend must apply. Many who intended to apply ultimately chose not to, or rescinded their applications.  This all begs the question, “Is Talladega’s band program desperate?”  They could just be smarter than we all think.

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment:  Your the director of a struggling band program.  You have been trying to find a way to have your band’s name mentioned among the top HBCU bands and the opportunities are not plenty.  The country just got flipped on its head and you finally get that phone call.  It’s for a candidate that your community doesn’t really support.  What do you do?

Some folks have taken to the web to protest, amassing thousands of signatures in online petitions to the college.  There are also anti-petitions, petitioning to allow the band to perform.  Though the biggest protests of all could be in the personal posts and tweets.  @drwgsi tweeted “No respect for a college seeking to play for a man that disrespected others 4 political gain. Shame on Talladega College.”  58_2.jpg

Whichever side of the coin you fall on, it is important that we (the band community) support the students, regardless of what the program has decided to do.  At the end of the day, these are musicians that have gone to the next level and just want to perform their best.  They have committed to their program and their director, in whatever decision is made.  So as fellow musicians, lets lift them up and encourage them to perform at the highest level.  We can leave the discussion about the decision to perform for another day.