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In Memoriam: Lloyd McCausland (1931–2021)

Feb 15, 2021, 08:00 AM by Rhythm Scene Staff

Lloyd “Butch” McCausland died on January 26, 2021 due to complications of COVID 19.

McCausland graduated from Milford, Mass. high school, where he performed in the band and played football. During high school he worked on the family farm and at the McCausland meat market. Upon graduation, he attended the New England Conservatory, graduating with a master’s degree in percussion. He performed his graduation recital piece with soprano Loretta Scott, subsequently known as Loretta Scott King. For five summers, he attended the Tanglewood student program, where he played under the batons of Charles Munch, Leonard Bernstein, and other noted Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra conductors.

Following graduation, McCausland moved to New Orleans, where he was a member of the Springfield Symphony. He formed a band and recorded an album under the name of Lloyd McCausland’s Dixieland Band. He began his musician’s union travel requirements with the Robert Joffrey Ballet, playing with the Boston Pops and doing some work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He recorded with Max Roach, played Broadway shows, performed with the Boston Percussion Ensemble, and began a 5-year tour with the Ice Capades playing timpani.

In Storrowton, Mass, he met Judy Clark, and he married her in 1963. They were inseparable for the next 58 years. Judy went on the road with him with the Ice Capades. 

In Los Angeles, McCausland accepted an offer to manage the sales of a new mylar product called the Remo drumhead and eventually became Vice President of Remo, Inc. Remo revolutionized the drum industry, and McCausland was known as the face of Remo throughout the music industry. 

In the late 1980s, Lloyd and industry veteran Jerry Hershman organized "International Drum Month," an industry-wide, annual promotion that led to the creation of the Percussion Marketing Council in 1995.

Lloyd was active in the California Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and he accepted students from nearby California State University at Northridge. He served as chairman of the first PAS National Convention in Anaheim, Cal. in 1974 and received the PAS President’s Industry Award in 1995.

McCausland also played in local bands and orchestras in the L.A. area and received the Outstanding Alumni Award from New England Conservatory. He loved to create drum circles to introduce people of all walks of life to the art of drumming. 

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