PASIC Preview

Joshua Simonds • November 2022PercussionUpClose • November 13, 2022

Early November is a time of great inspiration and community as drummers, percussionists, educators, and fans of all ages from all over the world make their way to Indianapolis, IN, for PASIC, the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention. This year, PASIC runs November 9-12, 2022, (with a virtual PASIC later) and you won’t want to miss it. 

So, what is PASIC? Simply put, it is the greatest four days of drums and percussion. It is a music festival with world-renowned concerts. It is a trade show, with more than 100 brands represented in our Expo Hall. It is an educational conference, with some of the finest educators presenting on topics including marching, symphonic, health and wellness, keyboard, drum set, percussion education, new music, scholarly research, composition, and so much more. 

Each year, the PAS Education Committee presents its series of FUNdamentals sessions by outstanding clinicians. These sessions are geared toward student percussionists and their teachers, including private instructors and band directors, and cover a wide range of instruments or subjects on a rotating basis. Once again, this year’s FUNdamentals sessions expand our usual offerings with diverse topics. These topics include concert bass drum, snare drum, and expressivity and musicality.

These sessions apply to any percussionist or teacher, no matter their current skill level or ability; they are not just for beginners. The sessions will challenge anyone attending to reevaluate their technique and pedagogy. Going back to basics frequently is essential for developing better ways to think about and teach these concepts. 

The presenters have designed their FUNdamentals sessions to be interactive, with audience members participating and working with the clinicians. Each clinic will include handouts with musical ideas, examples, and exercises you can immediately apply to your practice sessions or classrooms. Here is information about this year’s FUNdamentals sessions:

Joe Hobbs – Expanding the Toolbox: Tips and Tricks for teaching Snare Drum Fundamentals for ALL Levels
Joe Hobbs’s clinic on snare drum fundamentals will prepare educators to teach students of varying skill levels and abilities. These pedagogical issues may be showcased in a college percussion methods course, working with high school students, or starting fundamentals with middle schoolers. This clinic will go over techniques to benefit all students as well as discuss and work on new literature designed for this real-life scenario. Whether breaking down check patterns/skeletons for difficult passages or discussing ways to rewrite difficult solos so all students are engaged, Joe will provide new and fresh ways to help teachers reach their students regardless of their snare drumming abilities. 

Shawn Glavin – Harnessing the Thunder: Musicality at the Concert Bass Drum
The concert bass drum is one of the most important instruments in the orchestra or concert band percussion section. Still, players often lack the skills, experience, or confidence to play it with control and musicality. This clinic is an overview of the fundamentals of playing the concert bass drum Shawn has gathered over the years performing in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Major topics will include basic strokes and sound production, techniques for rolls and sustain, approaches to dampening and muting, stick choice and style considerations, and tuning and care for the instrument. Each discussion area includes descriptions and principles useful to players of varying experience, including beginners, teachers, and young professionals. This interactive clinic is open to everyone, with ample opportunity for participation and coaching.

Dr. Karlyn Vina – Expressivity and Musicality: Moving Beyond the Ink

To play with musicality and expression as percussionists, so much of what we do can be both intuitive and layered with shades of subtlety; this makes it very difficult to identify and describe our processes. Expressivity is often something we learn primarily from watching and listening to professionals, without necessarily using language to define and describe what we do to achieve a broad range of musical effects including articulations, phrasing, and characterization. To add further complication, the techniques other instrumentalists use to play various articulations (e.g., bowings, tonguing/slurring) do not translate directly to percussion. Karlyn Viña’s session will provide several examples of expressive techniques and the tangible language to describe them to help students unlock expressive potential in their playing and help teachers facilitate more musical and expressive playing with their students.

If marching is your thing, we have you covered! 

Scott Johnson, Brian Dinkel, Dave Glyde – Under the Hood with the Blue Devils Percussion Designers
The Blue Devils percussion staff will discuss the behind-the-scenes process of bringing a Blue Devils show to life, from inception to finals night. They will discuss all aspects of the compositional and design process as it relates to the elements of the percussion program.

Chelsea Levine – Advanced Marching Cymbals
This session will inspire music educators with knowledge of what is possible with an advanced marching cymbal line. Fielding a cymbal line often overwhelms designers and educators. With a lack of experience and educational resources, there is a void on how to optimize the cymbal

line’s output of musicality and creativity. Chelsea Levine will show how properly implementing a cymbal line can yield memorable moments and points on the judges’ sheets. With the Rhythm X Plateline on stage, she will explore the musical range and diverse sounds the instrument can make, demonstrate the visual vocabulary an advanced line can achieve, and combine both elements and show the magic of musical and visual synergy.

Marching Panel Discussion – Jim Ancona, Iain Moyer, Sandi Rennick, Neal Flum (moderator)
Whether for reasons of logistics, weather, cost, finding competent performers, the increasing use of electronics, or undervaluing the timpani voice in a marching arts music ensemble, timpani has experienced a bit of decline in its presence as a vital voice in the marching arts. James Ancona, Iain Moyer, and Sandi Rennick, accomplished arrangers in the marching arts as well as strong proponents of the use of timpani in that activity, will make the case for using that particular voice/instrument in the marching ensemble, as well as speak to their process for writing creatively for that voice/instrument. Neal Flum, former chair of the PAS Marching Percussion Committee, will moderate and lead the discussion and the championing of timpani as a vital part of the marching arts ensemble.

Matt Jordan, Tony Lymon, and Tony Nunez – Powerhouse Arranging for Electronics
This session will explore electronics design and arranging. Matt Jordan, Tony Lymon, and Tony Nunez will each arrange the same segment for electronics and then share their arrangement and process with clinic attendees. This will showcase several ways to approach the same piece of music as well as applications to execute the passage.

The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps – Foundational Concepts of American Rudimental Drumming
Join The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps in taking in the sights and sounds of various rudimental styles represented in the repertoire of The Old Guard Drumline. Also discussed will be various instrument groups within the corps, and how they affect each other’s writing and stylistic interpretation. 

Perhaps you want to check out some of the symphonic sessions?

Edoardo Gianchino – Classical Repertoire
This clinic will cover orchestral techniques for snare drum, tambourine, triangle, cymbals, and bass drum. Edoardo Giachino is the percussionist of the Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia of Rome and Professor of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He has written seven teaching manuals for his students. Very active in the field of contemporary music, he plays as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles, collaborating with many composers and performing national and international premieres.

Jean-Baptiste Leclere – How to Develop Musicality
In this clinic, Jean-Baptiste Leclère will share his process to develop our musicality. He will discuss how to develop specific technique to play with more variables and colors, and how to develop our musical analysis in every score we play. He will play some exercises, excerpts, and studies to support his argument. His purpose is to share a straightforward process to help every performer understand the content behind the score and to play in a good way with a personal vision.

Jake Nissly – Dare to Play
Jake Nissly’s session will focus on how to structure an audition. He will present a short list of orchestral repertoire to demonstrate and discuss why he made certain musical and technical decisions. Nissly is the Principal Percussionist of the San Francisco Symphony and co-chair of the percussion department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This session will transition into the following session by Ed Stephan.

Ed Stephan – Dare to Think
While timpani will serve as the instrumental centerpiece for this class, the information will more generally introduce concepts for untangling one’s thought process, streamlining decision-making, and more effectively aligning the efforts in one’s practicing with the person’s goals, while also challenging oneself to shed the fear of taking the risks associated with “overthinking.” Ed Stephan is the principal timpanist of the San Francisco Symphony and artist faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory and Aspen Music Festival.

Our evening concerts are the perfect way to end each day at PASIC! 

Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martinez Group, Amadinda Percussion Group, Ju Percussion Group, Ghost-Note.

Can’t Come in Person? No Problem.

 Whether you are with us in Indy or not, you can participate in the online event of new content beginning Friday, November 18, and Saturday, November 19, from 12 PM – 6 PM.

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!