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Instrument Assignment Factors

All students in the Percussion Ensemble will be assigned to and trained on one or more percussion instruments throughout the season. There are a variety of different instruments in the percussion family, and while we do our best to allow students to perform on the exact percussion instrument(s) of their choice, it is not always possible or advisable to do so.

There are a number of factors used to determine who will be assigned to which instrument(s):

Availability - There are limitations based on the number of instruments available for use.

Balance - There are sound blending and volume balancing limitations on the number of students that can play a single type of instrument.  For example, if there are eight snare drummers and only two tenor drummers, no one will be able to hear the tenor drummers.

Coverage - It is very important to cover all written parts. For example, if the music was composed for five tonal bass drums, but we only had three bass drum players, that would leave two-fifths of the bass notes left unplayed causing gaps in the performance (imagine a guitarist trying to play a song when half of his strings are broken). If we allowed this to happen, it would result in a poor-quality performance, which would degrade the experience of all members including the two people who were playing snare drum instead of covering the last two bass drum parts.

Physical Requirements - The marching percussion instruments can be heavy, some more than others. Students carrying each instrument must be physically capable of doing so without risking injury to themselves or others.

Educational Advancement - One of the biggest factors to consider is skill-level. The Marching Band / Percussion Ensemble is made up of students from a mixture of grades (9-12) and experience levels. Some students have been taking private lessons for many years, and others are just beginning their journey into the world of percussion. It is important for us to place like-skilled students together in the same instrument groupings. This allows us to challenge seasoned players while providing basic training to new-comers as well as appropriate instruction to all of those in between. For example, music written for the marching snare drums and multi-tenor drums are typically composed to challenge players having a high level of skill, so we will normally place the most experienced players on those instruments.

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 Last modified by admin VIP  on 10/29/2013 1:03 PM

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