Raynor Carroll Retirement

On September 4, 2016, principal percussionist Raynor Carroll retired from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After serving the orchestra for 33-years and playing countless concerts, he has decided to step down and continue directing the percussion program at UCLA. I was fortunate to take private lessons with Raynor from 1995 – 1998 while I was in the American Youth Symphony. I still remember my first phone call and lesson. Raynor changed the way that I approached timpani and percussion. Years later, I had the opportunity to teach with him at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB and I will always be indebted to him for everything he taught me over the past 20 years. (more…)

Japan’s “New World”


Attention all auditioning orchestral percussionists: audition for Japan’s “New World” Symphony; the Hyogo PAC Orchestra. I recently returned from a healthy week long visit to HPAC for the PAC Percussion! series of concerts on August 2nd and 3rd. Every year in August the orchestra organizes two concerts (the same) featuring the PAC percussion section with a guest artist. For more information about this years concerts click here.

As it turns out there is an inspirational story around the orchestras inception. According to HPAC’s site: “During the decade following the great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995, the courage, persistence, and compassion of Hyogo’s local residents brought about a miraculous renewal of the devastated region.” In 2005 the orchestra opened as a symbol of cultural rebirth of the region. Since then it has seen it’s 4 millionth audience.

HPAC orchestra is a resident orchestra exclusively affiliated with Hyogo Performing Arts Center under artistic direction of Yutaka Sado. During a three-year term, 48 international core members under the age of 35 engage in a variety of performance opportunities
including full orchestra and chamber orchestra concerts, a fully-staged opera, and chamber ensemble performances of standard and modern repertoire. They are joined in these performances by leading conductors, guest players and coaches from around the world. The HPAC program offers professional development for Core Members through master-classes and private lessons with visiting artists.

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The facilities are immensely impressive and the center, being fully government funded, spares no expense when it comes to putting on productions and concerts. I had a first class experience. So, I share this post as an advocate for the center as it seems a bit unknown. Be sure to explore the source link above for more information.

Where you aware of this opportunity? Have any others that fit into this category? Please share your thoughts below the post.

Stunning Castanet Concerto

I often wish I could play castanets without mounting them on handles or in a castanet machine? If anyone else thought the same, be sure to check out today’s video featuring Lucero Tena (Castanets) on the Voices for Peace Concert (2007) in Madrid.

After watching this video, I think I will stick to my Epstein mounted castanets.

What other concertos have been written for accessory instruments? What is your favorite castanet piece or excerpt? Let us know. Leave a comment below.

Originally posted on DrummChattr.com on February 15, 2011.

Four-Stroke Ruffs: The Magic Recipe

By: John W. Parks IV, D.M.A.
The Florida State University

Many players are intimidated by the ubiquitous four-stroke ruff, especially by soft ones (Kije, Festive Overture). Of course, loud four-stroke ruffs can be a challenge as well (third movement of Shostakovich 10)! Where do you place them? How do you place them when the conductor is making a huge expressive gesture with a downbeat the ensemble seems to “slide” into (last four bars of Scheherazade III, for example)? (more…)

Rob Slack’s Introduction to Cymbals

Yesterday, we interviewed Rob Slack, principal percussionist of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. In today’s post, I wanted to spotlight his “Introduction to Cymbals” video from YouTube. This is from a DVD entitled “Introduction to Concert Percussion.” For more information on Rob or to purchase his DVD, please visit his website.

How do you get a good sound on cymbals? What techniques can you share with the DrumChattr community? Leave your feedback in the comments.

Originally posted on DrummChattr.com on December 14, 2010.

Why I Hate Mickey Mouse

By Adam Groh

If there is one percussion-related thing that I could rid the world of it would definitely be the confused individuals who think holding crash cymbals up like Mickey Mouse ears actually does anything. Honestly, who is out there passing off this lunacy as a real technique? Look, I’m all for holding the small instruments up so that they can be seen by the audience. I will even agree that when you show someone a triangle or finger cymbal they are more likely to hear it (not because it’s louder, just because they see it). However, I have yet to encounter a reputable percussionist advocating any crash cymbal technique that even vaguely resembles a Disney cartoon character. (more…)

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