RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Letter from the Editor — September 2021: Continuing Forward

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Sep 01, 2021

    Josh GottrySchool is resuming. Broadway tours are being announced. The late-night talk shows have live audiences again, and concert venues around the country have tickets on sale for the upcoming season. Flights are full. People are getting together with relatives again. Lessons are far more often face-to-face rather than over Zoom, and PASIC will be live and in person in November of this year.

    Strangely though, several things feel far from normal. Many across the country who had expectations of ditching masks by July 4th are once again being asked to put them on at work, at school, and at sporting events. School districts in some states have gone back, at least in part, to virtual learning, and a number of high-profile artists have cancelled tours that were scheduled for this fall. Countless numbers of music educators at all levels are faced with once again reevaluating how performances will be held in the coming semester, and the “Upcoming Events” column for the R!S Blog is conspicuously absent for yet another month.

    Yet we, the percussion and larger music community, continue forward. In unprecedented times that seem strangely precedented, we are finding new ways to reinvent percussion performance, percussion education, and percussion activities in our community. This is unfortunate, but not unnoticed. It is frustrating, but not fruitless. The creativity and determination of our friends and colleagues realized in virtual clinics, YouTube concerts, Zoom panels, and online workshops has demonstrated another application of the same flexibility we ask of ourselves when we play a marimba recital one night and a drum set gig with a cover band the next. Never tell percussionists they can only do one thing or do something one way; we will prove your wrong every time. It’s not easy, but at this point in time, it is necessary.

    I applaud the efforts of our percussion community, and I encourage your continued resilience. Press on to find new ways to bring what we do to people in our community and students who want to learn. Endure to explore whatever safety measures are possible or virtual outlets are open so as to inspire a new generation once again to pursue and elevate the percussive arts. Support each other, share your events — virtual or live — on social media and on the PAS events calendar, and I hope to see you at PASIC!

  • Year Two for the Rhythm! Scene Blog by Josh Gottry

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jan 04, 2021

    Josh GottryRhythm! Scene, the official blog of the Percussive Arts Society, just turned one-year old, and what an interesting year it was! Thanks to the efforts of many PAS staff members, most notably Marianella Moreno and Hillary Henry, we were able to frontload the blog with over 100 posts from the past six years of R!S in its digital magazine format. Since January 1 of last year, we have added well over 100 new posts, ranging from HotLicks to R!Solos, from product showcases to industry news, and from educational articles to interviews and profiles, all free and fully available to anyone with an internet connection and an interest in the percussive arts!

    One of the things I was most excited about as the year began was the flexibility for the R!S blog to keep our community up to date on upcoming events, concerts, workshops, and seminars. Instead, in what continues to be a trying year for our performing arts and educational community, the flexibility allowed us to post information about cancellations, rescheduling, moves to online formats, and a disappointingly high number of In Memoriums.

    Despite that, I believe the R!S blog allowed us to connect with each other and share what we could to continue moving forward, despite the difficulties and frustrations. Practice-at-home tips and stories about COVID adaptations were highlighted in our summer content. The last few months have included reports of several successful online workshops and the promotion of an upcoming one, along with a feature on a virtual recording project centered on significant works in our historical rudimental drumming canon. We profiled 42 university percussion professors from around the country and hope to do the same with as many as 50 freelance percussionists in 2021. With any luck, by the time summer rolls around, we’ll be able to resume our plans to keep you posted on workshops and events that allow us to gather together and learn about and celebrate percussion!

    So, subscribe, check-in regularly, tell others about this resource, and if you are so inclined, contribute with articles, interviews, or news of your own. In order for this resource to be most impactful, news and content should be generated from and by you, our percussion community, so if you have an idea for an article, email me anytime at jgottry@pas.org. PAS is your society, and the Rhythm! Scene blog is your publication. I look forward to curating this resource for the coming year on your behalf!

  • Letter from the Editor by Josh Gottry July 2020. Six Years and Six Months — R!S Reaches Another Milestone

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Jul 01, 2020

    Josh GottryThe first issue of Rhythm! Scene hit the Percussive Arts Society website on February 1, 2014. In late-2019, after six years as a bimonthly digital magazine, PAS leadership recommended that the publication transition to a blog format, releasing new content three to four times each week instead of a bulk release every-other month. A handful of people worked diligently behind the scenes to bring some of the published R!S magazine content to the blog in anticipation of the formal debut on January 1, 2020. Today marks the six-month anniversary of that transition.

    My question to you is, have you yet discovered all that Rhythm! Scene provides? Every issue—36 in total—of the R!S digital publication is still available on the PAS website. Interviews with Hannah Ford Welton, Third Coast Percussion, Andy Akiho, Anica Nilles, Jojo Mayer, Escape Ten, Ivan Trevino, Cindy Blackman Santana, and much more are ready to read, by anyone who may be interested, PAS member or not, for FREE. Extensive past and new content is also available within designated categories of the blog, including seven “App Scene” articles provided by the PAS Technology Committee, 21 “PAS Profiles” of individuals who are in leadership within the society, 10 “What I Wish I Had Known” articles covering foundational elements of percussion performance, and over 30 “R!Solos” with sheet music, performance notes, and video performances provided by the PAS Composition Committee. In addition, you will regularly find new product and industry news, people and places articles, HotLicks, upcoming events, summer workshops (including the many virtual camps that were offered this year), and much more, with all of this searchable, categorized, and shareable, either directly to friends and colleagues or via social media.

    So, as I said in my welcome article six months ago, please subscribe, check-in regularly, tell others about this resource, and if you are so inclined, contribute with articles, interviews, or news of your own. I continue to look to you, our percussion community, for articles and ideas to improve this resource. If you have a suggestion or submission, e-mail me anytime at jgottry@pas.org.

    In the meantime, check out what Rhythm! Scene already has to offer, and be sure to tell someone else about it as we celebrate our first six months as the R!S Blog!

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