PAS Recent News

2020 PAS Awards

Aug 20, 2020, 10:01 AM by PAS
PAS is proud to announce the 2020 recipients of its distinguished Awards: PAS President’s Industry Award (Don Lombardi), Outstanding PAS Service Award (Heather Sloan), Outstanding PAS Supporter Award (Eric Martin), and Outstanding PAS Chapter Award Canada (Québec).

"On behalf of everyone at PAS, I want to congratulate Don, Heather, and Eric, as well as the entire Quebec chapter and chapter president, Shawn Mativetsky. The work, service, support, and advocacy each of them do on behalf of PAS is remarkable and these awards represent just a small token of our appreciation." — Joshua Simonds, PAS Executive Director


PAS President's Industry Award

2020 Recipient: Don Lombardi

The PAS President’s Industry Award was established to recognize those individuals in the Percussion Industry that have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their field and outstanding support of the Society. For his support of PAS and the countless artists he has supported at both PASIC and Days of Percussion to help make our events memorable, educational, and entertaining, we award the 2020 PAS President’s Industry Award to Don Lombardi.

dlombardiDon Lombardi is the founder of DW Drums and Drum Channel, and has more than 30 patents registered to his name. 

Don’s fascination with drums started at age 12 which led him to start taking drum lessons with a teacher at a local music store. At age 14 Don joined the Musician’s Union after getting hired to play in a kids Dixie Land band performing in the Los Angeles area. At age 16 Don was fortunate to study with great teachers, Nick Ceroli and Colin Bailey, and in his 20’s he had the incredible opportunity to study with Freddie Gruber for five years. Immediately after graduating high school Don joined a Show Band performing in Las Vegas, Reno and Tahoe for the next year. He then moved back to Los Angeles and immediately started working with a rock band headed by Niki Sullivan, one of the members of Buddy Holly’s band, The Crickets. After 3 years Don became part of the Jerry Wright Jazz Piano Trio playing at PJ’s, one of the most popular nightclubs in Hollywood.  

Don’s professional career began at 16 and during his 20+ year playing career he was never without work. He also taught 40-50 students drum lessons each week at three music stores. In building a successful teaching career many of Don’s students were older, which gave him the idea of opening his own teaching studio in 1972 which he called Drum Workshop.   

In 1977 the parents of one of Don’s student’s offered to sell him Camco Drum Company’s tooling, dies and molds. (The name Camco was sold to another drum company.) Don thought this would be a great opportunity as there was a need for high quality drum equipment during that time, and having just had his son he also knew he did not want to become a traveling musician.  

Don’s first invention was a new design for a height adjustable seat. One of Don’s students during that time was John Good. As Don was playing 6 nights per week, with a full teaching schedule, he asked John to help him build drum seats, and they continued to work together as Drum Workshop evolved from a teaching studio into a manufacturing company. An early decision was made to keep the teaching studio name “Drum Workshop” as the manufacturing name. Don felt like it was a perfect fit.  

During the ‘80s one of the key ingredients to the success of Drum Workshop was Don getting over 30 patents in his name. As DW continued to grow, there was no time for Don to return to his passion as a teacher until 2008 when he founded Drum Channel. Drum Channel was a place where Don could catalog all of the content that had been taught by the greatest drum instructors to create a vault of information for generations to come.  

Don’s son Chris Lombardi, CEO of DW Drums, has successfully driven DW beyond Don’s wildest dreams. Don continues to be involved in Research and Development with DW, but spends the majority of his time working with today’s great drummers as he continues to build the Drum Channel library. Don was inducted into Guitar Center's Rock Walk on Sunset Blvd. in 2018 and was most recently honored with the Percussive Arts Society President’s Industry Award for 2020.

Outstanding PAS Service Award

2020 Recipient: Heather Sloan

The Outstanding PAS Service Award was established to recognize an individual each year that has provided service to the organization through a significant project, cause, or cumulative service that has made a significant contribution to the Society as a whole. For her role as the initial Chair of the PAS Diversity Alliance and her continued service to PAS, we are proud to present the 2020 Outstanding PAS Service Award to Heather Sloan.


Heather Sloan received her DMA in Percussion Performance at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is a Fulbright scholar with a specialization in Caribbean music, especially Afro-Caribbean folkloric expressions of the Dominican Republic. She presents regularly in the US and elsewhere; recent work includes a Spanish-language research presentation on the changing symbolic roles of women in Dominican bachata music at the Seventh Congress of Caribbean Music, Identity & Culture in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Heather is currently finishing a Master’s degree in Information and Library Sciences with a Specialization in Digital Humanities. She uses digital mapping and storytelling to explore intersections between socio-political, cultural, and ecological concerns in Afro-Caribbean music traditions. From 2016 to 2019, she served as the Inaugural Chair of the PAS Diversity Alliance. In 2019, she was a Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) Fellow. For 2020-2021, she was awarded a fellowship from the Indiana University Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (IDAH).

Heather lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and works at Herman B Wells Library as the Media and Maps Assistant.

Outstanding PAS Supporter Award

2020 Recipient: Eric L. Martin

The Outstanding PAS Supporter Award was established to recognize an individual each year that has significantly promoted the Society through his or her professional and educational activities to increase visibility and awareness of the Society. As President and CEO of Music for All, and his continued years of support and as a strategic partner, we are thrilled to award the 2020 Outstanding PAS Supporter Award to Eric L. Martin.

Eric Martin (Edit)

Eric L. Martin is’s President, a role he began in May 2020.

Prior to joining ScholarshipAuditions, Inc., Mr. Martin was the Chief Executive Officer of Music for All, Inc., a commitment that ended in April 2020, concluding more than 25 years of service in a leadership role that began with his election to the Bands of America Board of Directors in 1993. Mr. Martin became an employee in 1996, serving as Bands of America’s (BOA) Associate Executive Director. When Bands of America and the Music for All Foundation merged in 2006 to form Music for All, Inc., Mr. Martin continued as Music for All, Inc.’s (MFA) Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 2010, Mr. Martin was named President and CEO.

Music for All is generally recognized as one of the nation’s largest and most influential music education organizations supporting active scholastic music making. At the time of his departure, Music for All directly served more than 145,000 student and teacher participants annually with event attendance surpassing 500,000.

During his tenure as Music for All’s CEO, Mr. Martin championed initiatives that strengthened the organization’s fiscal position, expanded its organizational capacity and consistently increased the number of students, teachers and others directly served by MFA. MFA’s fund balance moved from -$750K to +$1.3M, affording MFA the wherewithal to sustain, advance and expand delivery on its mission and vision.

Mr. Martin led the creation and implementation of strategic plans that increased participation in its traditional BOA marching band and MFA festival and summer camp programming, and expanded its reach into more forms of scholastic music making, music education and advocacy.   MFA adopted and advanced a new organizational vision - “to be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to engage in active music making in his or her scholastic environment.”

Under Mr. Martin’s leadership, MFA consistently grew capacity, increased participation, and added new and expanded scholastic programming, including opening participation to middle schools students and programs, adding choral and chamber music performance, and creating/offering of music technology study and experience for students and teachers. Also launched during his tenure, MFA’s Affiliate Regional Music Festivals (supporting bands, orchestras and choirs across the nation) began as one pilot event 2013, grew to include scheduled 24 events spread across 20 states, serving more than 15,000 students.   

Mr. Martin insisted MFA be authentic and intentional in its commitment to being a catalyst in ensuring “access and opportunity for every child.” It was during Mr. Martin’s tenure that MFA implemented programs of direct engagement and support for core urban and small and rural school music programs, created and launched its Advocacy in Action (success storytelling/sharing) and Awards programs, and invested in other initiatives and collaborations. MFA made scholastic music education advocacy a point of emphasis, - integrating advocacy content and messaging into its traditional programming, creating of new initiatives, and making a “lead by example” organizational commitment to actively serving, collaborating, supporting and engaging with other national music education and advocacy organizations, programs and initiatives.

Prior to joining MFA, Mr. Martin was president of ELM Productions, an Atlanta-based special events production company.  In 1993, he won a Regional Emmy® for his production of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Parade on SuperStation TBS.  His event production credits and experiences include the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, the World University Games, San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade, Philadelphia’s Bicentennial Parade, and the “Operation Welcome Home” Ticker Tape Parade in New York, celebrating America’s victory in the first Persian Gulf War.

Mr. Martin is a Certified Festivals and Events Executive and an honors graduate of Dartmouth College.  He also holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School and has been admitted by exam to the District of Columbia and State of Georgia bar associations.

Mr. Martin is a member of the Board of Directors of Indianapolis’ Freetown Village and the Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management Department’s Advisory Committee for IUPUI’s Tourism Management degree program. Mr. Martin is Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Festivals and Events Association (“IFEA”) and in September 2000, was inducted into the Miller Brewing Hall of Fame, the highest honor awarded by IFEA.

Mr. Martin is one of America’s strongest advocates for music education for all children in all schools. He brings that passion and sense of mission to the Advisory Board of Performers National Signing Day.

Outstanding PAS Chapter Award

2020 Recipient: Canada (Québec)

quebecThe Outstanding PAS Chapter Award recognizes individual chapters who have increased membership and provided percussion events, newsletters, and experiences that are beneficial for the continued music education of all chapter members. This award replaces and enhances the PAS Outstanding Chapter President Award, which was an annual award presented on behalf of the Society for nine- teen years to an Outstanding Chapter President. Knowing that an outstanding chapter president’s contributions are really the reflection of the work of the other chapter officers as well as the chapter membership, the Outstanding Chapter Award was integrated into the Society’s awards in 2010. The 2020 Outstanding PAS Chapter Award goes to the Canada (Québec) chapter. Currently, Shawn Mativetsky is serving as President.

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