RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Pescara (IT): The music conservatory "L. D'Annunzio" hosted the 20th edition of event organized by Italy PAS

    by Hillary Henry | Nov 28, 2023

    Italy Competition

    The 20th edition of the “Italy Percussion Competition” and Festival “Days of Percussion” took place August 29 – September 3. The event was organized by Antonio Santangelo (President of Italy PAS) and Claudio Santangelo (Artistic Director) — in collaboration with the Music Conservatory "L.D'Annunzio" of Pescara (Italy). The event is considered one of the most important worldwide. Everyone recognizes the great work and great organization of Italy PAS which, in this edition, celebrated its twenty years of activity.  We lived intense days of music and rhythm with internationally percussionists, writes President Antonio Santangelo, who gave us authentic emotions. Thinking that students from all over the world have traveled for hours to be able to perform in competitions in front of highly qualified juries and, in turn, have the opportunity to attend concerts and masterclasses fills us with satisfaction and repays us for all the organizational effort of these months.

    The "Career Awards 2023" was awarded to Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic and Nick Woud, two great musicians who contribute with passion, love and teaching to the growth of entire generations of percussionists.

    Italy Career Awards

    Antonio Santangelo with Nick Woud (left) and with Nebojsa J. Zivkovic (right)

    Winners of the ITALY PERCUSSION COMPETITION (for soloists and composers)

    Jury and winners: MARIMBA
    Nebojsa J. Živković,Pei-Ching WU, Eric Sammut, Tatiana Koleva, Claudio Santangelo

    Cat. A 1st Prize Edgars Zaurs (LV)  - 2nd Prize Alexandru Beleca (RO)
    Cat. B 1st Prize Abs. Sung-En Chi (TW) - 2nd Prize Yi-Ling Cai (TW)
    Cat. C 1st Prize Ching-Yun Lin (TW) - 2nd Prize Hsuan Wu (TW)

    Jury and winners: TIMPANI
    Nick Woud, Shiniti Ueno, Claudio Romano

    Cat. A : 1st Prize Litao Dong (CN) - 2nd Prize Mátyás Rigó (HU)
    Cat. B: 1st Prize Mátyás Holló (HU) - 2nd Prize Lorenzo Ramundi (IT)
    Cat. C: No winners

    Jury and winners: COMPOSIZIONE
    John Psathas, Julie Spencer, Todd Ukena, Richard LeVan, Luigi Morleo

    Cat. A: Daniel Townsend (UK) 2nd Prize; Jon Esnaola Agirre (ES); Tosato Carlo (IT) 3rd Prize; Pablo Blanco Cordero (ES);) Special Mention
    Cat. B: Johannes Claassen (DE) 3rd Prize
    Cat. C: Carlo Passeggi (AR) 2nd Prize
    Cat. D: Tosato Carlo (IT); João Pedro Oliveira (PT); Yu-Chen Ho (TW) 3rd Prize
    Cat. E:No winners

    Jury and winners  of the PERCUSSION ARTS WEB CONTEST (Duo and Percussion ensemble).
    Gordon Stout, W. Lee Vinson (USA); Naoko Takada, Nino Masayuki (Giappone); She-e WU, Pei-Ching Wu (Taiwan); Jeanni Zhang, Jingjing Li (Cina); Frederic Macarez (Francia); Dennis Kuhn, Nils Rohwer, Jessica e Vanessa Porter (Germania); Walter Mertens (Belgio; Luigi Morleo, Claudio Santangelo, Tarcisio Molinaro, Ivan Mancinelli e Maria Vittorio (Italia)

    Cat. A/DUO (Percussion solo) 2nd Prize - DUO Michel Chenuil and Francesco Parodi (IT); 3rd Prize - DUO KAMEHA (JP)
    Cat. B/DUO (Percussioni e Piano); 2nd Prize - DUO Masaharu Nagano (JP)
    Cat. C/DUO (Percussion with other instruments); 3rd Prize DUO Evelin Drahos e Màrton Szives (HU) - DUO Fabio Conoscitore and Michele F. Pio Verde (IT)
    Cat. D/ENSEMBLE (from 3 to 6 percussionists);  2nd Prize - Trio GANG-TA (KR, PL e DE) - Quartet PSYCHO P. GROUP (TW); 3rd Prize - Trio RAINTREE (BR, GR e PT) - Quartet QUANTUM (HU)- Trio BALA (CH, PT e HU)
    Cat. E/ENSEMBLE (for the schools); 2nd Prize - Serdica Percussion Ensemble - “Lubomir Pipkov” by Sofia (Bulgaria)      

  • Drum Corps International 2023 World Championships Blue Devils earn first “three-peat” and record 21st championship

    by Hillary Henry | Nov 09, 2023

    story and photo by Lauren Vogel Weiss

    Drum Corps International began its second half century during the summer of 2023. Dozens of corps toured the country, participating in over 80 shows across 32 states, culminating in the World Class Championships held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis August 10-12. While one corps set a new record for winning titles, another former champion (California’s Santa Clara Vanguard) took the summer off to recover from a financial shortfall. And don’t forget the ever-increasing use of narration, vocals, and props.

    The Blue Devils (Concord, California) remained undefeated for a second straight season and captured their 21st overall (and third consecutive) championship gold medal, along with three caption awards: the Donald Angelica Best General Effect Award (2nd year in a row), the John Brazale Best Visual Performance Award (2nd year in a row), and the George Zingali Best Color Guard Award. Their “three-peat” (2019, 2022-2023) makes them only the third corps to achieve that feat, alongside The Cadets (1983-1985) and The Cavaliers (2000-2002). The Blue Devils’ program, “The Cut Outs,” inspired by the art techniques of Henri Matisse, featured two original compositions by BD Music Director Dave Glyde (“The Rise” and “Resistance”), along with music by Cody Fry (“Caves”), TesseracT (“Of Energy”), Bob Graettinger (“Incident in Jazz”), James Newton Howard (“Grand Canyon Fanfare”), and one of the greatest ballads of all time, Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.”

    Moments after winning yet another world title, longtime Percussion Caption Head and Arranger Scott Johnson admitted, “It hasn’t sunk in yet. We were just trying to get through this last day. The kids’ performance at the rehearsal, as well as tonight, was just awesome. It’s a good day to be a Blue Devil!”

    When asked his favorite part of the show, Johnson smiled and laughed, “There were too many really cool moments, especially all the drum breaks and percussion features, but I really loved our ballad this year. The battery didn’t even play there – just the front ensemble. It was absolutely breathtaking. This was probably one of the best front ensembles that we’ve ever had, and that’s a major statement. Plus one of the best bass drum lines, too.

    “During the season,” Johnson continued, “you’re in the grind. You don’t really get a chance to look at the show. You just keep doing it; you keep improving it; you keep finding your mistakes; you keep trying to fix things; and you don’t really get to enjoy it until after it’s all over. But tonight’s performance was amazing!”

    A video of the Blue Devils championship encore exhibition may be viewed at

    Although the corps finished in eighth place, The Cavaliers (Rosemont, Illinois) captured their seventh “high drum” title – and first since 2011 – by winning the Fred Sanford Best Percussion Performance Award, which averages the Music Percussion scores from the three nights of competition. Not only did they win drums in Prelims, Semifinals, and Finals by almost two-tenths each night, they remained undefeated in drums since their show in Abilene, Texas on July 18, including regional matchups in San Antonio, Atlanta, and Allentown. And, like the 1982 Bayonne Bridgemen, the 2023 Cavaliers were only the second eighth place corps to win high drums.

    “I’m speechless! I’m just so happy for them!” exclaimed Josh Brickey, Percussion Caption Head for The Cavaliers, who has been with the corps for four years.

    The Cavaliers were celebrating their 75th season and the 2023 repertoire included old and new favorites in their program, “…Where You’ll Find Me.” In addition to John Rutter’s “Gloria” and original music by the corps’ arrangers, they played nostalgic pieces such as Harold Arlen’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” (from West Side Story), and Tony De Vita’s “Softly As I Leave You.”

    When asked their favorite part of the show, Brickey and Michael McIntosh, Percussion Designer and Caption Supervisor who has been with The Cavaliers for two decades, both agreed it was the second movement. “My favorite part was juxtaposing the amazing vocals of Judy Garland [singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’] with the pit and quads – a unique texture that eventually became an ear worm for all of us,” McIntosh explained. “It was everything that was special: juxtaposing sounds against each other to create a new sound, the style of the tenor writing, and the use of space, all in a lyrical and elegant environment… and it turned out super cool!”

    Brickey added, “We used multiple implements in the quad line. The way we used a guiro stick in the snare drums. Textures. Timbres. It was just a symphony of percussive sounds.”

    McIntosh also credited the rest of The Cavaliers talented percussion staff: front ensemble arranger Clif Walker, battery coordinator Russell Wharton, ensemble coordinator Lane Armey, lead choreographer Tim Jackson, visual specialist Andrew Polk, along with music consultants (and DCI Hall of Fame members) Tom Aungst and Bret Kuhn.

    Portions of the drum feature (from the DCI Southwestern Championship in San Antonio on July 22, 2023) may be viewed only at and a finals-week rehearsal of the second movement, from a GoPro “snare cam” point of view, may be seen at

    For those attending PASIC 2023, The Cavaliers’ Percussion Section will present a clinic on Saturday morning, November 11 at 10:00 am.

    The 2023 drum corps season also saw a close and competitive race for the silver and bronze medals. For the third time in a row, the Bluecoats (Canton, Ohio) placed second. Their program, “The Garden of Love,” featured music by Chick Corea (“The Woods”) and Pat Metheny (“Finding and Believing”), along with several tunes by Eddie Magnason. The show opened with snare drummers playing on rotating circular podiums in the middle of the field. As in years past, the Bluecoats front ensemble also featured not one, but two drumset players.

    Placing third (by less than eight-hundredths of a point) was Carolina Crown (Ft. Mill, South Carolina), who also won their eighth Jim Ott Best Brass Performance Award. Crown’s show, “The Round Table, Echoes of Camelot,” included a wide variety of music, from Henry Purcell’s “Dido’s Lament” and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem,” to Bela Bartok’s “String Quartet No. 2,” Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde,” and “All is full of Love” by Bjork. Their medieval look even carried over to the bass drum heads.

    Fourth place went to the Boston (Massachusetts) Crusaders. Their “White Whale” program, inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, featured period costumes in the front ensemble, along with aluphones, a bosun’s pipe, bodhrans, and even bones, to create authentic sounds in the music. Their nautically-themed repertoire included “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” by Ralph Vaughn Williams, traditional tunes “Swallowtail Jig” and “The Wellerman,” and Bernstein’s “On the Waterfront.” Their strong drum line, a contender for the Sanford award all summer, placed third overall in Indianapolis.

    The Cadets (Erie, Pennsylvania) moved up a position from the previous year with a fifth place finish. Their “Atlas Rising” program included music by Hans Zimmer (“What Are You GoIng To Do When You Are Not Saving the World?” and “Corynorhinus”) and Paul Lovatt-Cooper (”Immortal”). A drumset was also prominently featured at the beginning of the show.

    Perhaps the biggest placement jump since last year was from the Mandarins (Sacramento, California), who moved up from tenth to sixth place in 2023, their highest ranking in the corps’ 60 year history. Their “Sinnerman” program was very popular, especially the spinning cages at the end of the show. Music showcased selections from Wynton Marsalis (“Swing Symphony”), Nat King Cole (“Smile”), Labrinth and Zendaya (“Repent”), Hozier (“Take Me to Church”), and Nina Simone (“Sinnerman”).

    Another crowd favorite was Phantom Regiment (Rockford, Illinois), who placed seventh and also won the FloMarching Fan Favorite poll for the third year in a row. Their “ExoGenesis” program included music of the English rock band Muse, Andy Akiho’s “to wALk Or ruN in wEst harlem,” Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2,” and “For I Have Fought the Good Fight” by Stephen Melillo. A riser directly behind the front ensemble brought the entire percussion section together for the exciting finale.

    The Colts (Dubuque, Iowa) continued their climb to ninth place, up two spots from last year. Their program, “Where the Heart Is,” featured music from Motley Crue, Pat Metheny, Cinematic Orchestra, and Randy Newman. They were the only Top 12 corps to utilize marching cymbals as part of their drum line.

    Earning their first Top 10 finish since 1985, the Troopers (Casper, Wyoming) presented a Western-themed program, “To Lasso the Sun.“ Featuring music of Italian movie composer Ennio Morricone, the most prominent visual display was a large rotating sun sculpture. Their strong drum line finished in eighth place thanks in part to their effective front ensemble. Not to mention the only harmonica solo of the evening!

    The Blue Stars (LaCrosse, Wisconsin) finished in eleventh place. Their program, “In ABSINTHEia,” included “Avrio” by Everfish, “Green” by Michael Torke, “Let Me Drown” by Orville Peck, “Such Letting Go Is Love” by Symbion Project, and the namesake “In ABSINTHEia” by Music Coordinator and Brass Composer Jim Wunderlich. During the second half of their show, the snare line was featured playing hi-hats and stacks cymbals on a custom-built rack in the center of the field.

    Rounding out the Top 12 was the Blue Knights (Denver, Colorado). Performing “Unharnessed,” their repertoire featured Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem,” “Break On Through” by The Doors, Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away,” and “Freedom” by Pharrell Williams. In addition to using “marching men” sound effects in the front ensemble, there were also several obelisk-shaped props on the field that featured “found” percussion instruments, such as frying pans, bowls, and rebound planks.


    (out of 100 points) 
    Drum Score*
    (out of 20 points) 
    1. Blue Devils 98.975 19.400 (2nd)
    2. Bluecoats 97.738 19.233 (4th-tie)
    3.  Carolina Crown        97.663 19.233 (4th-tie)
    4. Boston Crusaders    96.925 19.383 (3rd)
    5. The Cadets   94.313 19.183 (6th)
    6. Mandarins     93.775 18.833 (7th)
    7. Phantom Regiment   92.988 18.516 (9th)
    8. The Cavaliers           92.125  19.666 (1st)
    9. Colts   90.263 18.183 (10th)
    10.  Troopers        89.475 18.566 (8th)
    11. Blue Stars                  88.625 18.000 (11th)
    12.  Blue Knights 86.375 17.633 (12th)

    Drum judges: Jeff Brooks (music percussion/prelims), Chris Rapacki (music percussion/semifinals), and Julie Davila (music percussion/finals)     

    The drum scores and rankings listed above are an average of the Music Percussion scores from all three nights of World Championship competition and is based on a 20 point total. That number is then divided by two and only a maximum of 10 points is added into the total possible overall score of 100 points.

    For the second year in a row, Crossmen (San Antonio, Texas) placed 13th. The rest of the Top 25 corps were Pacific Crest (City of Industry, California); Georgia’s Spirit of Atlanta; Madison Scouts (Madison, Wisconsin); Music City (Nashville, Tennessee); The Academy (Tempe, Arizona); Open Class Champion Spartans (Nashua, New Hampshire); Gold (San Diego, California); Genesis (Austin, Texas); Southwind (Mobile, Alabama); Jersey Surf (Camden County, New Jersey); Columbians (Tri-Cities, Washington); and Seattle Cascades (Seattle, Washington).

    With last year’s gold medalist (California’s Vanguard Cadets) inactive for 2023, the Open Class title was up for grabs during the competition at Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana on August 8. New Hampshire’s Spartans won their second gold medal with a score of 82.263. They also won caption awards for general effect, visual performance, and color guard, as well as the Best Percussion Performance award. For the second year in a row, California’s Gold earned the silver medal (80.675), plus the high brass award. Alabama’s Southwind (79.125) captured the bronze medal.

    Friday night’s Semifinals competition included three special performances. The United States Army’s Old Guard – comprised of fifes, bugles, and rope drums – performed during the dinner break intermission. Following the last corps in competition, Open Class Champion Spartans presented an encore of their winning program “Surreal.” But the highlight of the night may have been the Troopers Legacy Corps, comprised of decades of alumni who marched in the Wyoming-based corps. They played several corps classics, including themes from popular Western movies such as How the West Was Won; The Magnificent Seven; and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly; along with “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” Their drum line included 11 snare drums and four rope snare drums, along with five each multi-tenors, bass drums, and marching cymbals – plus an extra large pair of crash cymbals (close to 30 inches in diameter!) featured in the front ensemble. A video of their performance may be viewed at

    During Friday evening’s show, DCI’s Executive Director Dan Acheson was recognized for his 28 years of service as the organization’s longest-serving director. And on behalf of everyone who has watched drum corps on television, in movie theaters, or on home videos, director/editor/producer Tom Blair received a special thank you for his almost four-decades of work on these broadcasts.

    Also on Friday, DCI introduced two of their 2023 Hall of Fame members, Gino Cipriani (brass instructor and caption head for The Cadets, among other corps) and David Glyde (music director, composer, and arranger for the Blue Devils). Tom Float (who passed away on October 3, 2022) was also recognized during a short “In Memoriam” segment. The evening closed with the traditional age-out ceremony, this year with the 22-year-olds marching onto the field, grouped by corps.

    As the final night of DCI’s 51st season began on Saturday, two very different ensembles performed in exhibition. First up was the INpact band, comprised of more the 500 middle school band students representing more than 50 schools across Indiana. The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, “The Commandant’s Own,” also performed their 2023 field show, plus our national anthem to open the competition.

    Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, there was no Performers Showcase, so there were no individual nor ensemble winners. Let’s hope this competition, showcasing the corps members’ special talents, returns in 2024.

    The future of the drum and bugle corps activity looks bright as the Santa Clara Vanguard is making plans to return to the competition field in 2024. [Unfortunately, in mid-October, both The Cadets and Southwind announced that they were suspending their 2024 competitive season due to financial challenges.] If you marched in the past and believe in the marching arts, please help your favorite corps – they need the financial support of their alumni and fans.

    See y’all in Indianapolis August 8-10, 2024….

    Blue Devils 1 2023 Blue Devils 2 2023
    Blue Devils captured their 21st world championship, as well as their first three-peat.

    Matisse’s “cut out” art technique was featured in the Blue Devils uniforms and drums.

    Bluecoats 2023 Carolina Crown2023
    Bluecoats’ garden theme was evident in their uniforms and on the field. Carolina Crown’s medieval look emphasized their Camelot theme.
    Boston Crusaders 2023 Cadets 2023

    Boston Crusaders’ front ensemble featured bones and bodhrans.

    The Cadets had a strong fifth place finish in 2023.

    Mandarins2023 Phantom 2023
    Mandarins had their best finish in the corps’ 60 year history. Phantom Regiment elevated the snare drummers on a riser at the end of the show.
    Cavaliers 2023 Cavaliers 2 2023

    The Cavaliers won their seventh high drum title and first since 2011.

    The Cavaliers drum line had been undefeated since July 18, 2023.
    Colts 2023 Troopers 2023
    The Colts were the only Top 12 corps to feature a marching cymbal line.

    The Troopers western-themed show was carried out through both the music and uniforms.

    Blue Stars 2023 Blue Knights 2023
    The Blue Stars’ snare line was featured playing hi-hats and stacks cymbals on a custom-built rack in the center of the field.

    A member of the Blue Knights front ensemble also played on frying pans.

    PAS Staff 2023 Spartans 2023
    (L-R) PAS staff members Rob Funkhouser and Nicole Herlevic staffed the exhibit booth as part of the DCI Festival Marketplace.

    Open Class champion Spartans had fun with long-handled mallets during their percussion feature.

    Old Guard 2023
    USMC 2023

    The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps performed in exhibition on Friday night.

    The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, “The Commandant’s Own,” performed on Saturday night.

    Troopers Legacy 2023
    Troopers Legacy 2 2023

    The Troopers Legacy Corps featured four rope snare drums during their exhibition after Semifinals.

    The Troopers Legacy Corps also featured one of the largest pairs of crash cymbals in drum corps history!

  • In Memoriam: Chris Brooks

    by Hillary Henry | Oct 13, 2023

    Chris Brooks

    by Lauren Vogel Weiss

    Chris Brooks, Vice-President of percussion publishing company Row-Loff Productions, passed away unexpectedly in an accident at his beloved cabin in the Tennessee mountains on October 11, 2023 at the age of 66.

    Row-Loff Productions, founded in 1990 by Brooks and Chris Crockarell (RLP’s President), has hundreds of titles on prescribed music lists in ten states. Originally focusing on the marching percussion genre, Row-Loff expanded into concert percussion literature in 1993, as well as a wide selection of solos and instruction books. “We both had the desire to write and publish percussion literature that didn’t exist when we were kids,” Brooks stated in 2012. “Now I spend most of my time writing percussion ensembles.”

    Known for its clever parodies of pop culture in its marketing CDs, Row-Loff was one of the first in the percussion industry to use audio examples to promote its music. “We didn’t think that band directors would sit and listen to nine percussion ensembles,” Brooks explained in 2010, “so we integrated the comedy into our recordings. And it’s worked out pretty well!”

    A 1974 graduate of McGavock High School in Nashville, Brooks began playing drums professionally at age 16. “I have never played one chart on a country record,” he told Modern Drummer magazine in a January 2006 interview. “And I have made a great living as a musician in Nashville.”

    From his jingle work in recording studios – including ad campaigns for Dodge, Toyota, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Almond Joy, Clorox and even CNN – to his live performances with artists such as Toni Tennille, the Smothers Brothers and Lucie Arnaz, these musical experiences influenced and inspired Brooks as he began composing percussion ensembles.

    Brooks, along with partner Crockarell (who took lessons from Brooks when they were both still teenagers), wrote about two-thirds of Row-Loff’s percussion catalog. He composed over six dozen original ensembles – including Millennium, performed at Carnegie Hall in March 2013 by the Monterey High School Percussion Ensemble from Lubbock, Texas – co-written several dozen more, and arranged over 30 pieces for percussion. From Christmas music to arrangements of traditional classical pieces, Brooks’ music is known for its wide audience appeal as well as educational value for the young performers playing it.

    “I’m always thinking, ‘Are the kids having fun?’,” Brooks said in the 2006 interview. “I want them to find the groove on anything I write. I want them to hear something melodically and harmonically that’s going to pique their interest.”

    Brooks and Crockarell also wrote and released The Snare Drummer’s Toolbox (The Absolute Method for Snare Drum) in 2010. They have also been featured in the May/June issue of Drum Business magazine and were the cover story in the November 2019 edition of SBO (School Band & Orchestra).



    Chris Crockarell and Chris Brooks at PASIC 2015. (photo by Lauren Vogel Weiss)

    From wearing a grass skirt or Cupid wings in the exhibit booth, to a more “traditional” Hawaiian shirt in the office, “Brooksie” was one-half of the eye-catching duo promoting their percussion repertoire at numerous music educator conventions across the country, as well as at PASIC for over three decades. “We were considered pretty outrageous by music educator standards,” Brooks told MD. Their costumes became a tradition, as well as a pleasant diversion from the typical attire found at most of the exhibit booths.

    “He was my business partner for 33 years, and friend for 50 years,” states Crockarell. “I’m at a loss for words. In all that time, I remember few disagreements on anything. We would bend and meld with each others ideas. He was such an overall sweet, generous person… and one of the most musical people I’ve ever met. What can I say? Love ya, buddy. You are already extremely missed.”

    The Row-Loff catalog represents an impressive list of percussion composers, including Dan Moore, Julie Davila, Lalo Davila, Dennis DeLucia, Edward Freytag, David Steinquest, Bill Bachman, John R. Hearnes, Brian Mason, and John Wooton, to name a few.

    RowLoff and Lalo Davila

    (L-R) Lalo Davila, Chris Brooks, and Chris Crockarell. (photo courtesy of Lalo Davila)

    “Two of my dearest friends, Chris Brooks and Chris Crockarell, changed the face of percussion publishing worldwide,” Edward Freytag, author of two popular RLP solo snare drum books, wrote in 2014. “Prior to these guys and the writers they brought into the arena, percussion literature possessed huge gaps in the music available for high school, young college, middle school, and even elementary school percussionists. The vision of Row-Loff filled those gaps and created a brand new body of work that significantly brought percussion and non-percussion educators into the fold of published percussion works. It was my honor to bring The Rudimental Cookbook and Just Desserts to the table to document current rudimental events and to assist in launching a new generation of young and excited rudimentalists! These guys are the ones that made that possible. The percussion community should be incredibly grateful that Row-Loff Productions set forth a frenzy of new publications and served as the inspiration for the creation of other new percussion publishing entities that continually keep our art form thriving with ever new literature. Thank you, gentlemen...from all of us!”

    Dennis DeLucia, whose book Percussion Discussion was published by RLP in 1995 (complete with a cassette tape!), stated, “Chris Brooks was a talented, idea-filled person who, along with Chris Crockarell, started Row-Loff Productions as a way to create quality percussion literature at every level imaginable, and to make it available to schools’ percussion ensembles and drumlines. Brooks was an imaginative – some would say ‘wacky’! – person who loved his career. I was fortunate to be one of the early contributors to Row-Loff, an opportunity that I did not take lightly, and one that I cherish deeply to this day. I’ll miss you, my friend.”

    Julie Davila, President of the Percussive Arts Society, agreed about Row-Loff’s contribution. “Brooks and Crock were pioneers in developing a percussion publishing company that has served an innumerable amount of students and elevated percussion education worldwide. Their vision, starting Row-Loff Productions, was pivotal in shaping vast libraries of percussion publications that have developed into what we enjoy in today’s market.” Her Modern Multi-Tenor and Impressions on Wood books are integral parts of the RLP catalog.

    “Chris Brooks always greeted everyone with his big southern accent ‘hello’, along with a beautiful smile,” remembered Lalo Davila, Director of Percussion at Middle Tennessee State University. “He was a true friend to all. His compositions touched many great young performers. I will always remember his voice telling me, ‘Lalo, you gotta come to the mountain and hang out!’ I’m sure going to miss him.”

    Freytag added, “I now have a huge hole in my heart and soul where Chris Brooks used to live. I will miss him terribly until I see him again.”

    “Most importantly,” concluded Julie Davila, “Chris Brooks was a dear friend. Truly family. His humor and his genuinely caring attributes will be memories that I will cherish forever. His untimely passing will leave a significant hole in our lives, both in the percussion industry, in the Nashville community, and, personally, with my family.”

    Authors note: I have had the honor of being an “unofficial” part of the Row-Loff family for more than three decades. I always looked forward to the first day of a convention to see what “Chris and Chris” would be wearing in their exhibit booth and hearing “Brooksie” say, “Well, Miss Lauren, come give me a hug!” The PASIC exhibit hall will be a little emptier than usual this year….

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