Today is a special day, as we celebrate the 90th birthday of Jim Sewrey, a long time percussionist, educator, adjudicator, and a founding member of PAS. In the following excerpts, Jim reflects on the history of PAS. Read more online.
“In the late 1950s, there had been a lot of discussions at Midwest and various MENC state conventions—any place percussionists and band directors were gathering,” recalls Sewery, who participated in many of those meetings and discussions. “Remo Belli was always asking, ‘Isn’t there a possibility we could have an organization through which we could discuss everything involved in our craft: how to teach it, how to play, and so on?’
"Remo found out that I was giving a lecture on rethinking the scheduling of band programs in a school district at the Southwest Regional meeting of the Music Educators National Conference, in Albuquerque, NM - January 1961, and said, 'Jimmie, I am calling a meeting for us to discuss a name for our percussion educator group, so I want you to come with a name for suggestion.'
So, on January 21, 1961, with Fred Hoey, Frank Arsenault, George Frock, Remo and myself, we met at the Sundowner Hotel, and, when Remo called for suggested names, I put forth the name...the Percussive Arts Society. The guys liked it, and in May of 1961 the name was accepted and became official."