CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS


James Christian

James Christian has been a percussionist for over 20 years. He was taught to play by his band director, Earl "Buddy" Mattei, and later by four-time national DCA snare drum champion Rick Beckham. He has performed with many types of groups, including drum corps, orchestras, jazz combos, military bands, percussion ensembles, and church praise bands. He has marched with two senior drum corps--Bayou City Blues and Gulf Coast Sound--both from Houston, Texas; and he spent four years as a percussionist in the 2nd Marine Division Band at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. James was valedictorian of his class at the Armed Forces School of Music, and he was the 2nd Marine Division Band Musician of the Year in 2002. He holds a bachelors degree in counseling, and he has taken continuing education courses at the University of North Texas with an emphasis in music education. James has won 16 local, state, and national percussion competitions. He was the 1998 Texas Percussive Arts Society (PAS) multi-tenor drum champion, and he is the seven-time winner of the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) multi-tenor drum competition. He is the current record holder for the most first place finishes among American-based national rudimental competitions. Over the years, he has taught several groups and given private lessons. He was recently the percussion director for the Burleson Centennial High School cluster, and is currently the percussion director for the Paris Independent School District in Paris, Texas. He is in the process of completing a comprehensive method book on the art of multi-tenor drumming.


Marshall Digmon

Marshall Digmon is currently an attorney in Memphis, TN. He was fortunate to learn to drum using the Haskell Harr method and playing the solos of John S. Pratt. He attended Escambia County High School in Atmore, AL, under the director of John Lambert. He had the great fortune of attending Vanderbilt University, where he marched in the drumline in the marching band under the instruction of Chris Finen, an eminently fine educator and individual. He played cymbals for Music City Mystique in 1999 and had the opportunity to play snare for the Bluecoats in 1999, albeit for a limited duration. He is a member of the reincarnation of N.A.R.D., loves his family, and is grateful to all the individuals who have taught him percussion.


Mark Gibson


DRUM EXPERIENCE
Moss Point High School Concert/Marching Bands
USM Concert/Marching Bands
USM Jazz Lab Band
USM Percussion Ensemble Drum Session work in Nashville/New Orleans/Pascagoula Various Rock Bands in Mississippi VOCAL EXPERIENCE Bachelor's Music Ed.Voice USM Member of University Singers/University Chorus/ USM Chamber Singers Performed with New Orleans Symphony/ Meridian Symphony/USM Symphony Solo Roles Della Joio "Psalm of Peace" Buxtehude "Magnificat in D Major" Handel "Messiah" Mendelssohn "German Magnificat" Purcell "St. Cecillia Day Ode" THEATRE EXPERIENCE The Mikado Showboat The Magic Flute Sweethearts Currently serving as Music Director; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Pascagoula MS.
Married to Christine Posusta for 26 years; three sons, Trevor Shawn and Benjamin.

Mark's drumset equipment:

ROGERS Drums
24' double bass drums
14' dyna-sonic chrome snare
8'/10' concert toms
13'/14' front toms
16'/18' floor toms


AVEDIS ZILDJIAN CYMBALS
14' new Beat hi-hats
22' Pang
18' Rock Crash
8' Splash
24' Ping Ride
20' China-boy Low
19' Rock Crash
22' Swish
24' Turkish Gong


PAISTE
20' China type
Bell Tree
Ice-Bell
LP Cowbell
LUDWIG Speed-king Pedals


Dennis Johnson

Dennis Johnson started his formal drumming in the Walker Junior High Band in Orlando, Florida.
After his dad retired from the military, the family moved to Montgomery, Alabama where he studied privately with several teachers as he played in the Robert E. Lee High School Band. While at Lee he placed 1st in the state on snare drum at the All-State Band Festival two years in row.

Dennis auditioned and received a performing scholarship at attend Auburn University where he graduated with a music education degree in 1983. While at Auburn he learned from former and
current members (at the time) of the Phantom Regiment, Blue Stars and Spirit of Atlanta. In 1980 Dennis auditioned and made the snare line in Atlanta where he marched under DCI Hall of Fame member Tom Float. The following year, instead of marching his age out year in Atlanta, Dennis became caption head of percussion with the newly formed Southwind, which was based in Montgomery, AL. He served in that capacity for the 1981 and 82 seasons.

In 1983, Dennis graduated from Auburn and was forced to grow up and get a real job. He interviewed and was hired as a junior high school band director in Montgomery. After serving in that capacity and working the drum line at his alma mater Lee High School from 1983-87, Dennis was hired as head band director at Lee High School where he taught for 16 years. Twenty years came and went and when the schools started changing in Montgomery, Dennis left the big city to start a band program for a rural school system. One year was enough of that with the mission accomplished, so he interviewed and was hired at a school located in a suburb of Montgomery. When 25 years was up he retired from public education and taught in a Catholic private school for a year before moving to the Smoky Mountains to play drum set professionally for a season at the Tennessee Shindig Music Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN. After a crazy year leading a life of a professional musician, he and his family moved back to Alabama where he taught private drum lessons at a local studio and taught middle school band part time. The family then moved to Nashville, TN. as Dennis accepted his present position as assistant band director at the largest private school in Nashville.

Dennis has been happily married for almost 20 years (as of 2012) to his lovely wife Donna and they have a wonderful son named David. The family loves cats and the many hours of entertainment they provide. They have two. A male named Smoky and a crazy female named Abbie.


Ken Mazur

Ken Mazur began drumming at a Polish wedding when band members discovered he could play accessory instruments in time. The three year old spent the entire evening playing a two-chair drum set in front of the band. A pair of sticks and old wood-topped bushel basket waited in his grandfathers’ basement, a Polish Legion of American Veterans practice drum. His grandfather was a snare drummer before World War II. A brief lesson of paradiddles and Five Stroke Rolls soon became private drum set lessons. A local news article led to drum and bugle corps instruction from Jay Tuomey of Son’s of Liberty fame and drum set lessons from Johnny Wallace who ran his own jazz big band. Ken made the line but only marched parades with a senior corps that practiced the Son’s of Liberty arm and grip technique in front of large panes of glass at a local VFW post. Jay soon began advanced training for individual competitions with breakdown training, Swiss Hybrids and difficult flam coordination. Bobby Thompson was twice flown in to help instruct the corps and was also privately critiqued by Frank Arsenault. From meticulous instruction by the masters came competition success.

• 1976 DCI World Snare Drum Champion (DCI 1975 - 4th 1974 - 3rd North American Championship 1972 – 4th) . Many State Titles
• Instructor: Phantom Regiment, Rockford, Illinois. (2nd place DCI World Championships 1978 and 1979)
Trained students for world-class competition via winter technique building and extended summer competition touring.
• Students and protégés’ have won 17 Individual World Championships in DCI and DCA Competition.
• Inventor of modern Olympic style training methodology for individual and ensemble competitions and drum set.
• Inventor of modern stick trick choreography for high-level competition solos (basis for the movie “Drumline”).
• Past President and Percussion Caption Head for judging circuit. Wrote score sheets, trained/hired judges, set tolerances
• Clinician for high schools, music studios and colleges in technique and drumming history.
• Published in the Percussive Arts Society Magazine, Modern Drummer and The Int’l Assoc. of Rudimental Percussionists
• Currently performs a solo electronic drum set act at venues across the United States using diverse genre for fine dining
restaurants, hotel chains, golf & country clubs, municipal festivals, weddings, corporate events, dance clubs, etc.

Author
• The Technique and Mechanics of Competitive Rudimental Snare Drumming (1978)
• The Basic Technique of Rudimental Drumming (1979)
• The History of Rudimental Drumming (unpublished 1200 page work from the first Crusades to modern times.)

Videos
• Rudimental Drumming Technique (1 1/2 hour video)
• Jazz/Easy Listening Hot Metal Bridge Electronic Percussion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9kqJ6AwH5U

Many current hybrid rudiments have a base in Ken’s “The Technique and Mechanics of Competitive Rudimental Snare Drumming” (1978). The “Malf” (Backward Flam) comes from his early 1970’s individual solos as do “Eggbeaters” and “One Hand Ratamacues” (Shirley Murphey’s). Some are Swiss derivatives taught by Tuomey such as “stutters” or “hand-to-hand flam stutters” (called “cheese” today) and include Cheese Chutichus (flam stuttered double flam triplets), Backward Rolls (accent is first), consecutive 32nd note Flam Five Stroke Rolls and Backward Flam Swiss Army Sextuplets. Other variations came from technical ability such as the Four Flammed Paradiddle (accent 1, 2, 3 or 4), Flam Single Five Stroke Roll, Flam Buzzed Drag/Ratamacue and Backsti-clicks (backsticking 32nd notes on the other stick). He performed and wrote practice regimen for the quad pitched bass drum set in the 1980s, adding another melodic voice via mastering right hand lead against left foot lead and vice versa, thinking through two or three voices simultaneously. Ken was first to use artistic choreography in snare drum soloing, altering the path of the art by advancing a “flip, grab, catch at center of gravity” process to perform hundreds of difficult stick tricks at world-class level culminating in new training methodology, solo demands and the 1976 DCI World Snare Championship.

Ken’s competition experience goes far beyond drumming, finishing 29 Marathons and Half Marathons and hundreds of races around the world adding to his knowledge of mental and training discipline. President of an architectural rendering firm for 30 years, he has a Bachelors Degree in Architecture. His artistic experience includes 400 custom homes designs and some 1500 fine art commissions in Casein Tempera, Gouche, Marker, Water Color, Prisma, Pencil, Oils and Pen and Ink techniques servicing residential, commercial, retail, institutional, industrial, interior design, educational, healthcare and civil engineering markets from impressionistic design stage techniques to tight photo realism.



Jerome Mershon

Instruction:  

•  Studied Under Don Mahon, NARD member and student of Louis Swikert - Cincinnati OH, 1954.
•  Studied Concert Percussion with Martin McConnell at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Xavier University - Cincinnati, OH in 1963-4.
•  Studied music theory at Bradley University - Peoria, IL in 1990-91


Playing History:

•  Played with the Gailley Jr. Grenadiers Junior Drum Corps in 1955-6, who won the VFW Junior state championship in 1955.
•  Joined the Forestville, OH Spitfires Senior Drum Corps in 1957.
•  Moved the Men of Ohio in Mt. Healthy, OH Drum Corps in 1959 & stayed with them for three years.
•  Played in the Roger Bacon High School Band 1957-60 and Xavier University Band 1969-64 in Cincinnati, OH.
•  Played drum set for 20 years, performing at private parties and gatherings primarily beginning in 1978
•  Have played with the Los Angeles Fifes and Drums, since 2009.


Teaching:

•  Started privately in 1960, then later, at Buddy Rogers Music Studio, North College Hill, OH during college 1960-64.
•  Instructed percussion at the Men of Ohio Senior Drum Corps, Mt Healthy, OH, for 3 years 1964-67. The corps won the Ohio American Legion state title in 1965 & 66.
•  Taught high school band percussion at Roger Bacon High School, St Bernard, OH, 1965 and Miamisburg, OH High School in 1975-76.
•  Instructed several junior drum corps in the Cincinnati area during the period 1965 – 69. These included the Dayton, KY Buccaneers, The El dorados, Cheviot, OH and the Tegionaires of Ludlow, KY.
•  Taught the Queen City Cadets for 13 years, 1964 – 77 over the drum section most years and was also Corps Director for five years, then Staff Coordinator and President.
•  Instructed percussion for the Washington, IL High School Band for 6 years, 1991-96 who took High Percussion at the Illinois State Band Championship in 1992 and received the highest rating for Indoor Percussion Ensemble in 1993.
•  Most teaching assignments included writing or re-arranging the percussion scores.


Judging:

•  Trained with the Central States Judging Association, & judged Drum Corps Percussion with them for three years. 1974-77.
•  Judged Drums Corps Percussion with the Massachusetts Judging Association 1978 - 80.
•  Judged Drum Corps Midwest Percussion for six years 1991-96.
•  Judging duties included Drum Corps, Band and Individual contests.



Paul Milano


Paul Milano performed in various junior corps from 1962 – 1974, virtually all as a snare.  He finished his last five years of eligibility as a Cavalier.  He then marched in two senior corps (Spirit of ’76 and Chicago Connection) in the mid-70s before becoming the Manager of the new Spirit of Atlanta drum & bugle corps in the late 70s.  After “retiring” from drum corps through the 80s and 90s, he returned to assist Spirit again, along with his Cavaliers, offering management and fundraising guidance.  He picked up his sticks again in 2003 & 2004 marching with the Royal Airs Reunion Corps, competing in DCA I&E both years at the request of his young sons.  He followed with four years in the Classic Cavaliers alumni corps and the 2008 Cavaliers 60th Anniversary Corps.  He is now fully retired as a drummer but attends DCA championship weekend faithfully.  


Robbie Robinson
Drum Corps Experience
1970-1972 - Tri Community Cadets/Keystone Regiment, Snare Drummer
1975-1980, 1982 - Crossmen - Bass Drummer, Timpanist, Snare Drummer (section leader in 1980 & 1982)
1981 - Blue Devils - Snare Drummer and Section Leader
1983-1990 – Reading Buccaneers – Percussion Caption Head, Arranger, Instructor, Snare Drummer
1991-1994 – Bushwackers – Percussion Caption Head, Arranger, Instructor, Snare Drummer
1996 – New York Skyliners – Percussion Caption Head, Arranger
1997 – 1998 – Hawthorne Caballeros – Percussion Caption Head, Arranger, Instructor, Snare Drummer
1999 – Hawthorne Caballeros – Percussion Consultant
2004 – Bushwackers – Percussion Caption Head, Arranger, Instructor
High School & College Marching Bands
1992 – 1993 – Coatesville HS - Percussion Instructor & Arranger
1992- 1994 – Temple University MB – Percussion Instructor & Arranger
1993 – West Chester University MB – Percussion Arranger
1993 – University of Delaware MB – Percussion Arranger
2004 – West Chester University MB – Percussion Caption Head, Arranger, Instructor.
Professional Music Life
1988-1990 Drummer, Percussionist & Singer with Ben Vaughn
1999-2004 Drummer Percussionist & Singer with Amy Carr
1999 – 2002 Drummer & Percussionist with the Alberti Music Group
2002 – 2005 Drummer with “Still at Large”
2005 Drummer, Percussionist & Singer with Suzanne Gorman
2008-2013 – Solo Recording Artist, Performing Musician, Singer, Guitarist, Drummer & Percussionist
Judging/Adjudication Experience
1992 – 1998 – Percussion Judge with the National Judges Association. NJA
During my tenure with NJA and the Tournament of Bands I judged well over one hundred shows and several finals and championship competitions.

2001 – 2003 – Percussion Judge for Drum Corps Associates. DCA
During my tenure as a judge with DCA I judged about fifteen shows including the 2002 DCA Individual & Ensemble Competition and the 2003 DCA World Championship Finals Competition.

2010 – Percussion Judge with the National Judges Association and TOB
Awards and Recognitions
1978 – Tournament of Stars Individual Snare Champion, Bayonne, NJ
1978 – Sixth Place DCI Individual Snare Competition, Denver, CO
1979 – DCI Individual Snare Drum Champion, Birmingham, AL
1980 – DCI Individual Snare Drum Champion, Birmingham, AL
1981 – DCI Snare Individual Runner-Up, Montreal, CA
1982 –Eastern Regional Individual Snare Champion, Boston, MA
1982 – DCI Individual Snare Drum Champion, Montreal, CA
1984 – DCA Percussion Champions, Reading Buccaneers
1985 – DCA Second Place Percussion, Reading Buccaneers
1991 – DCA Percussion Champions, Bushwackers
1992 – DCA Champions, Bushwackers - Second Place Percussion
1993 – DCA Champions, Bushwackers (undefeated) - Second Place Percussion
1994 – DCA Second Place Percussion, Bushwackers
1997 – DCA Second Place Percussion, Hawthorne Caballeros
2003 – Inducted into the Crossmen Hall of Fame
2007 – Inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame
2012 – DCA Individual Snare Champion – Annapolis, MD


Pavel Stepanov

Pavel began his musical journey playing piano and guitar. His choice of musical instruments changed to percussion when, at age 17,  he arrived at college and took a class on symphonic percussion. At age 21 Pavel joined the Russian Army, where he furthered his pursuit to learn rudimental drumming. Pavel organized the rudimental drumming group/ensemble Sky Rhythm. He actively promotes rudiments in his teaching, and has made it a mission to advance rudimental drumming and training techniques in Russia.