RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Five Question Friday: Daniel Edwards

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Apr 09, 2021

    Daniel EdwardsDr. Daniel Edwards resides in Laie, Hawaii, where he teaches courses in music theory and world music cultures at Brigham Young University — Hawaii. He has received degrees in percussion performance from BYUH, the University of Missouri, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. One of his primary interests is the steel pan, which has led him to commission new works for lead pan by several composers. He has also led steel bands in Illinois and Missouri, and presented concerts and master classes with the instruments across the country. Prior to teaching at BYUH, he drummed for the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii, and taught English as a second language in Taiwan.

    Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a percussionist and educator, what career could you see yourself having pursued?

    Daniel Edwards: I've worked teaching English as a second language to kindergarteners in Taiwan and found that I enjoyed it. While the work isn't glamorous, I found fulfilment in it and am comforted by the fact that I have a reliable backup plan if music ends up not working out. In addition to teaching English, living in Taiwan for a bit was a fantastic experience, and I found that as long as I'm teaching something, music or not, I'm satisfied.

    R!S: As a freelance artist, what's one of the weirdest gigs you've taken or oddest jobs you've had outside the industry?

    DE: I once took a gig playing solo lead pan in a nursing home that specializes in Alzheimer's patients. I played some classic tunes such as "Jamaica Farewell" and so on, and the residents then asked me to play "Happy Birthday." I gladly obliged and played another song, only to be asked to play "Happy Birthday" again afterwards. I believe I ended up playing "Happy Birthday" three or four times for those residents, but they enjoyed it immensely each time.

    R!S: What's one thing most people don’t know about you?

    DE: My first band instrument was clarinet, and I was pretty decent at it in high school. I liked to play in the drumline for marching band and play the clarinet for concert band, and I even placed in a few competitions with my clarinet playing. I ultimately decided to focus on percussion when I began studying at BYUH.

    R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?

    DE: My favorite percussion instrument is the steel pan, particularly the lead pan. I began playing steel pans during a difficult time in my life, and I found that playing the instruments was one of the few things that brought me pure joy at the time. As I improved my playing, I found that there are much fewer professional pannists than there are professional marimbists, timpanists, etc., so I decided to focus on pan as a career and an academic strategy. While I do get frustrated with my playing at times, as we all do, there's no other instrument that touches me like pans do.

    R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?

    DE: My family moved around a lot until I was 10, living in California, Wyoming, and even Argentina for a couple of years before settling in Utah. There were no international schools where we lived in Argentina, so I went to school in Spanish. I learned Spanish in just a few months, mostly out of necessity, and I still speak it today.

  • Five Question Friday: Meggie Aube

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Apr 02, 2021

    Meggie AubeDr. Meggie Aube is a percussion performer and educator living in Palmer, Alaska. She maintains her teaching studio, Percussion in the Valley, which includes students of all ages; offers private and group lessons, classes, and workshops; and is the director of the community percussion ensemble, The Matanuska Beat. In addition, she is an adjunct music professor at Mat-Su College and performs actively as a soloist and in many ensembles throughout the state. Dr. Aube earner her Doctoral degree in Percussion Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa under the instruction of Dr. Dan Moore. 

    Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a percussionist and educator, what career could you see yourself having pursued?

    Meggie Aube: I would want to work as a home decorator or remodeler. I love fixing up old furniture, building shelves, and working on design projects on my house. I would need a lot more training to do it professionally though!

    R!S: As a freelance artist, what's one of the weirdest gigs you've taken or oddest jobs you've had outside the industry?

    MA: One thing I tell my students who want to go into music is to be ready for anything. After studying percussion for nine years in college I would have never imagined becoming a choir director. Right after graduation I landed a gig as a church choir director and director of the community chorus in my town. I have zero choral experience!

    R!S: What's one thing about you that your colleagues or students would unanimously proclaim?

    MA: No matter how busy I am, I always try to help where I can. This often means dropping what I’m working on to support my students and colleagues. I have a hard time saying no, even when I receive a request for a letter of recommendation that is due tomorrow.

    R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?

    MA: I love the marimba; it allows me to be the most expressive and share my voice. My close second is the snare drum. Almost nothing feels better than playing a rudimental drum solo.

    R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?

    MA: Growing up in Alaska was a wonderful experience. One of the main drawbacks was being so far away and cut off from the rest of the country. I was always very fortunate to have parents who were very supportive of my passion for music and would fly me down to experience camps and other musical opportunities I couldn’t find in my home state.

  • Five Question Friday: Stephen Busath

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Mar 26, 2021

    Stephen Busath

    Stephen Busath serves as the adjunct percussion professor at the University of Illinois Springfield, where he teaches concert percussion as well as drum set, and he has just launched the program’s first ever percussion ensemble. Before coming to Illinois for graduate school, Stephen was a high school band director in Idaho as well as the principal percussionist for the Idaho Falls Symphony. Since coming to Illinois, he has completed his master’s degree in percussion performance and is currently ABD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Stephen performs regularly with local symphonies, chamber groups, and any group that needs a Latin percussionist.

    Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a percussionist and educator, what career could you see yourself having pursued?

    Stephen Busath: I probably would have been a high school math or a gym teacher. Practicing law crossed my mind, but I do not think my heart would have been in it.

    R!S: As a freelance artist, what's one of the weirdest gigs you've taken or oddest jobs you've had outside the industry?

    SB: I spent a summer in a small town on the border of the Mississippi River in 2011 playing drum set on the back of a horse-drawn wagon with a brass band. We wore period clothing from the 1840s and traveled around this small town performing for visitors.

    R!S: What's one thing most people don’t know about you?

    SB: Most people have no idea that I am really into fantasy novels. I particularly enjoy the author Brandon Sanderson.

    R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?

    SB: Congas, but this is mainly because of the music with which it is associated. When I get to play, I feel the freedom I don’t get from a long day doing concert percussion in a practice room.

    R!S: Where did you grow up, and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?

    SB: I grew up about 10 minutes south of Sacramento, California. I was a decent athlete; I was quite good at basketball and I ran a 4:40 mile my junior year in high school, but I gave up most sports to focus on music. Music was not really a big part of my life until I was about 15.

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