Saturday, August 10, 2013

On the field with a great drum line

Sorry for the preponderance of video clips of late— what can I say, we're a little scattered this week. This is a remarkable recording made by an old drum corps colleague, Nathan Beck— he wore a tape recorder under his uniform during the finals competition at DCI Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin in 1987, when he was marching with the Santa Clara Vanguard, and now someone has shared it on YouTube. Nate and I were in corps together from 1983 to 1986, that last year with the Vanguard, with Nate in the snare line and myself in the pit. SCV seemed fated to win in the year of the recording— at the time I thought they were the best corps I had ever seen. In the end they came in second, by one tenth of a point, which was later blamed on personal conflicts within the group.

Here's the recording— if you're not a corps person, keep in mind that you're hearing seven snare drummers and six tenors. Of special interest is the percussion feature, Lezghinka, which begins at 5:20.

The poster has blocked embedding for the video, but here you can see the broadcast version of the drum solo from this same performance. Nate is the end snare drummer, closest to the tenors. He's quite an interesting cat— after his drum corps career, he lived in a village in Africa for several years, studying mbira.

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