Band Update

I mentioned this briefly on my Percussion page, but I rejoined the Pensacola Civic Band this month. It was not really all that expected. A few years ago, I got wind that they were shorthanded in their percussion section, but when I emailed, I was told my help wasn’t needed, so I just continued on. Last year, I did two musicals at the college. One of my previous school band directors ran into my mom in the store last month and mentioned seeing me at the musical and asked if I had considered rejoining the civic band. I was thinking, “well, I’ve heard this before.” But anyway, I emailed and said to come in. Well, I thought I was on the “waiting list”, and I’m on the college’s payroll. Ah well.
So now I am in two bands: One on Monday nights and one on Tuesday nights. One big difference was sight-read night. As a section leader, I always get the percussion music in advance and sort out all the parts and divide them to the players and send out lists so everything knows what’s coming and what to play. It is a very time consuming process, and I think I must be the only percussion section leader in the world that actually does it. I think it is simply because I’m obsessive, but it sure does mean a lot less running around on the first night of rehearsal. On the other hand, I think most section leaders are thinking there are a lot of weeks to sort all that stuff out. The sight-reading nights at the civic band are fast paced. They just run through every song back to back and don’t really stop, which I would say I am okay with, but not so much when I have no idea what instruments I need or where they are ever stored. Well, I’m not really intending to complain, but I realize that might be how it sounds.

My Christmas present last month was a 5-piece drumkit. I already had a cocktail drumkit, as I actually prefer to stand, but last year I was actually asked to do a drumkit gig, and I shied away from it because I didn’t own my own to practice on. In an effort to be more rounded, I decided to get one. It came with a birch snare, but I swapped that one out with the hammered steal snare I already had. The birch snare sounds better for a concert band setting anyway in my opinion.


Some may notice that a lot of my drums and percussion instruments are from an unfamiliar brand. In truth, these are actually a store brand. Although a lot percussionists have a lot of opinions about brand name drums, I honestly am not too picky about such things, so long as the drums meet my quality expectations. I started using this Trixon Drums USA brand from Jim Laabs Music when I got my vibraphone. I then over time got my cocktail drumkit, snare, timbales, mark tree, and field drum from them.


I also got this 5-piece from them. I’ve been happy with their instruments (so long as I put good heads on them). Sitting in latest shipment from them, I received this handwritten note.

It is always nice to be appreciated as a customer and I thought I would share that.

I’ve been working on this 32-inch concert bass drum, which I will mention in the next post.


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