You’re In The Army Now

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NEXUS member Robin Engelman has just returned from Sweden and Finland where he was the guest of each country’s army! A bit unusual, you might think, but it’s due to Robin’s long-held fascination with military drumming, the historic rope tensioned field drums, and fife and drum music. He’s become an expert in the field (pun intended), having amassed a collection of books and music and studied campaigns and tactics, realizing that the development of drumming had much to do with signaling and movement on the field. Robin is preparing a book tracing the history of the field drum. And you will see in his blog that he mentions the The Historic Drummers Heritage Concert DVD, a documentation of snare drumming styles. Robin also composed a snare drum solo for NEXUS called Clean it up  –  Please! (This is in A Nexus Portfolio of Drum Solos available from HoneyRock Publishing Co. )
Robin presents one of the more specialized of NEXUS workshops in his lecture demonstration titled A History of the Snare Drum.  He looks at how the drum itself developed and the mechanics of it, and how music for the snare drum was at first notated in pictorial representations of drum sounds that eventually evolved into a standardized notation. He also provides demonstrations on field drums throughout, and a stirring sound it is! It’s surprising to hear the many variations that are possible. This is a NEXUS workshop that has proven useful when NEXUS has been asked to work with marching bands, drum corps, and the International Bandmasters’ Association. Stay tuned: I’ll be writing in future posts about Robin’s many other talents as arranger, composer, and conductor.

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