1996 PAS Individuals & Drumline

DISCLAIMER - This report does not cover every drumline or individual player,
             only those I witnessed.


High School  - Some schools used way too many props and emphasized
               a production rather than the players. Several high
               school lines actually had members of the battery
               put down their instruments and play trash cans, boxes,
               and other Stomp like equipment. Sorry, but I don't
               dig that scene, and it comes across as cheating (if
               you can't dazzle them with brilliance dazzle them
               with bullshit). Overton HS was a good example.
               You can always tell the lines that focus primarily
               on pit with the battery acting as backup. Sometimes
               it was obvious that the playing parts were sacrificed
               for the marching maneuvers. I get tired of seeing
               batteries prance around, crabstepping to MM=200+
               playing double stroke 16ths. FM Marcus and Plano
               had very nice shows. Marcus had a beautiful ensemble
               sound, particularly from the pit, but I had Plano
               pegged first for the following reasons: I thought
               Plano's snares were incredible, I had Plano's
               tenors higher than Marcus, I favored Plano's drill
               over Marcus's (it fit better, more symmetrical, better
               executed), I liked Plano's cymbal line more than I
               liked Marcus's.

College -      Only saw a few. Again, production numbers are a drag
               on the activity. North Texas won best snares, but I
               thought they were dirty from my vantage point, and
               they played mostly rolls and diddles (c'mon guys, in
               years past you displayed awesome flam passages).
               UNT's tenor line was incredible, you have to see
               them to appreciate them. Very nice pit, very nice


College -      I saw maybe the first half and wasn't impressed. Hardly
               anyone knew how to properly break down a double stroke
               roll. I saw solos that included accessories (bell trees),
               as well as stick changes to tiny pencil thin sticks.
               A snare drum doesn't need bell trees to wow an audience,
               only a good player. Tyler Dempsey was exceptional. He
               displayed many different grips, he played alot of
               notes, he had very good GE, he played with very few

High School -  I only got to see the champ, Jason Parker. This kid
               can play. My hat's off to you Jason, you have a
               great future. Keep up the good work.

Rudimental Snare -  ?????? Why is there a separate caption for this? And
                    why is it restricted to 1800's style rudimental solos?
                    This leaves the impression that rudimental snare
                    drumming is archaic and outdated, and that the snare
                    caption is non-rudimental. I guess for most of the
                    participants it was non-rudimental. Perhaps
                    a separate caption shows us that PAS is simply
                    calling a spade a spade, and that rudiments are no
                    longer alive in the snare caption. Makes you wonder
                    how Jason and Tyler prevailed.


Honorable Mention - Hip Pickles was great to watch. They need a video.
                    Very entertaining.

Rick Beckham