Although updates have been sparse, there’s a good reason for it. I’ve been busy with a few things – teaching at Villanova, performing, and a few other things. This update will allow you to catch up with what I’ve been doing.
Teaching – We were able to start a bucket drum ensemble at Villanova! The director of music activities asked if I would be interested in starting a percussion ensemble, and I was honored he asked. Instead of creating a traditional ensemble with standard percussion equipment, I gave the idea to begin one where students could play on buckets, trash cans, and other non-traditional musical instruments. After a few months of organizing, rehearsing, etc, the students were able to perform at their spring concert back in April along with a T-shirt fundraiser for the band program. The students had a blast, and I cannot wait to continue with the students there! This has also open the door for me to assist with a course for Villanova’s Summer Music Program! The course will be June 29 – July 3rd on Alternative Ensembles in the educational environment, and will be facilitated by my good friend Jason Chuong. Jason will be talking about various ways to bring alternative ensembles to the classroom, and I will be there for the last three days to help out. The course counts for graduate level credit, and is a great way for music educators to continue their studies!
The reason I’ll only be at the last 3 days of the Villanova workshop is because I’ve also been asked to facilitate a workshop for the President of the United States’ Arts and Humanities committee “Turnaround:Arts” initiative! Turnaround:Arts was an initiative started by the President’s Arts and Humanities committee that uses the arts to increase student engagement and learning environment in some of the most poverty stricken schools in the country. I’ll be teaching a workshop on bucket drumming on June 30th during their summer workshop to show administrators and teachers from throughout the country how bucket drumming can be used in the learning environment. Also, a huge thank you to Vic Firth, Remo Drumheads, and Master Crafted Drums for allowing me to represent their companies at the workshop.
Now on to some fun stuff – Along with my recent endorsement with Vic Firth, I’ve also been recently added to the Remo educational roster! It’s a dream come true to be able to represent the drumhead company that I’ve always trusted from the beginning of my drumming journey, and cannot be more excited to have them, Vic Firth, and Master Crafted Drums on my side. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bruce at Remo for welcoming me to the Remo family!
Speaking of Vic Firth – the crew over at Vic were able to take my favorite stick, the F1, and put my signature on them! Pretty neat to look down and see your name on a stick. Also, keep an eye out for something really cool coming out sometime this week on the Vic Firth website!