I started playing drums in 6th grade band when I started middle school. In 7th grade, I changed schools and was thrown onto bells and xylophone for the first time, vaguely able to read music, but quickly found that those were the instruments I enjoyed most. In high school, I was "pit captain" from 10th - 12th and co-drum captain in 12th. Since we never had a mallet instructor while I was there, and I was the only dedicated mallet percussionist, I taught drummers and wind players each of those years for marching band. I was the first to play four mallets in a half time show at my high school and was the first to play vibraphone in jazz band.

Due to lack of instruction, in mallets, I am almost completely self taught, learning mostly from "Modern School for Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone" (The Goldenberg Book) and Stevens "Method of Movement for Marimba". I mostly use Stevens grip for four mallets; I later picked up Burton grip when I got more into vibraphone playing. I have also played around with the six mallet grip introduced by Dean Gronemeier.

Some regrets: I did not play in college bands. Also, in the early years after high school, I was asked a few times to tutor and to instruct high schools in the area, but never ended up doing it. I was always worried that these activities would interfere with my studying while I was in college.

I did, however, play in the Pensacola Civic Band while in college and graduate school from around Fall 2005 until around the end of Fall 2007. I was the mallet percussionist, and I on a few occasions covered some cymbal and auxiliary parts. I had to step down because my graduate studies became too demanding. I also played in churches then.

Outside of bands, I learn and play four mallet solos on marimba and vibraphone.

I joined and am currently in the Pensacola Bay Concert Band, since August 2015. It is a fairly new band in the area with the mission of bringing adults of all ages and skill levels back to music. In June 2016, I was asked to be the percussion section leader and accepted. Although I primarily am the mallet guy, I also cover any percussion instrument (snare drum, bass drum, timpani, cymbals, auxiliary) as needed. My duties as section leader mostly have consisted of making sure parts are covered, recruiting when needed, and finding any needed instruments to borrow in each concert set.

I have recently taken an interest in instrument building. I have building plans for marimba and vibraphone, and I am planning to begin building a marimba later on.

I am a member of the Percussive Arts Society. (Which basically just means I pay my membership dues, but hey, everyone else puts it down too, right?)

I am looking for additional opportunities in the Pensacola area, and I own my own instruments.

Topics

Here are some topics of percussion that I am interested in:

  • Mallet Percussion: Marimba and Vibraphone
  • Multi-Mallet Grips: Stevens, Burton and Six-Mallet
  • Concert, Jazz, Percussion, and Praise Ensembles
  • Instrument Design and Building: Marimba and Vibraphone
  • Music Education Advocacy
  • Cocktail Drum Kit

Inventory

Instruments
Sticks, Mallets, etc

Related Links

Blank Sheet Music .net: Free printable staff paper
Evans Drumheads
Jim Laabs Music
makeamarimba.com and buildavibraphone.com: Purchase building plans for a mallet instruments
Meinl Percussion and Meinl Cymbals
Mike Balter Mallets: I use their mallets
Musser Mallets
Pensacola Bay Concert Band: I am currently in their percussion section
Pensacola Civic Band: I was in their Percussion section from 2005-2007
Percussive Arts Society
Steve Weiss Music
Trixon Drums USA
Vic Firth: I use their sticks
Woodwind & Brasswind

Related Software

LinuxMacOSXWindowsMuseScore: Music notation program