Welcome to the Home Page of the Mason Bulldog Drumline!
The Drumline is the engine behind the Bulldog Marching Band... a fixture at all home football games for the Mason Bulldogs of Mason, Michigan. In addition to performing at all home football games, the marching band performs at parades and community events. All members of the Bulldog Drumline are students in the Mason music education program, and also participate in year-round performances, including basketball pep-band, jazz band, concert band, and solo & ensemble.
The band is directed by Beth Bousfield and Amber McRay. Mike Schorsch is the volunteer percussion instructor.
You can use this site to review rehearsal and performance schedules, get access to drumline resources, and download Drumline Materials. Use the navigation bar to find your way around.
Two great clinic days have been held... next stop is audition day! Some tips for last minute preparation:
1. Show up with your paperwork in order. Have your adjudication form filled out, with the instruments in order of preference. You will do an individual audition on your #1 preference instrument.
2. If you are auditioning on bass... bass parts should be treated as unison. You will not be required to split out single parts.
3. If you are auditioning on cymbals.... you should pick a split part to play. This is done because the splits are physically impossible to play as unison.
4. If you cannot get a nuance or detail of the audition piece perfectly, feel free to water it down by removing rolls, flams, effects, etc.. You will do much better if you simplify the part to something you CAN play and maintain the integrity of the piece, rather than try to tackle something you can't, then screw it up, fall apart, get flustered and frustrated, and wind up blowing your whole audition.
5. READ the adjudication form! There is no mystery on what you will be scored on. Its all written down for you! Little things like dutting and marking time are EASY ways to boost your score (and you will play better too!)
6. Show up with a great attitude. Attitude is the most important score you will receive. If you have a great attitude, and want to contribute to the drumline, and be part of something you can be proud of, then you will go far. We can work with underdeveloped skills... we can't work with bad attitude.
7. If you don't know something, ASK! I'm available by phone or e-mail, and I will do everything I can to help you be successful.
8. If you have to make a choice on what to work on, then get the 5 warmups down to perfection. Those warmups will help you with every piece of music you will ever play. Ike Jime won't. In addition, we may not see Ike Jime again, but I promise you that we will play the 5 warmups EVERY TIME we rehearse. EVERY TIME. So learn 'em now.
9. Relax and have fun. This is all part of being a member of a great drumline, and the rewards start on day 1. Take the opportunity to enjoy it! You will play better too!
Last but not least, auditions are scheduled for June 1, 2011, at the MHS band room, at 5:00pm. DONT BE LATE. We expect to be wrapped up and dismissing at about 6:30. Anyone who hasn't completed their individual audition by this time will be required to stay, but if you have finished and you want to go, you will be free to leave at 6:30pm. These times have been adjusted from what is on the packet... so again... auditions are on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, at the MHS band room, from 5:00pm to 6:30pm.
If you have any questions at all in the meantime, please feel free to contact me.
I wish you all the best of luck, and am looking forward to seeing you on audition day!
Clinic day has been scheduled for Monday, May 16th at the MHS Band Room from 5 to 7pm. See the Events Page for more details.
2011 Audition Materials have been posted, and Auditions are scheduled for June 1, 2011! See the Join the Drumline page for a copy of the audition packet. In addition, all the audition music is available with play-along files on the Basics page. Be sure to use both.
Free clinic days are optional; however, they have not been scheduled. If you wish to make use of the clinic days, then you (the drumline) must request them. I'm not interested in scheduling a clinic day that will not be attended, so if you want any, I leave it to you to let me know.
A significant change in auditions this year is that each student will be required to audition on a street beat "Ike Jime". This was done specifically to take the advantage away from older students. It also kicks the demand up a notch, so make sure you are familiar with this piece. Snare players should note that traditional grip is out for 2011: snares will be required to audition using matched grip. Anyone who insists on auditioning with traddy will be penalized in two ways 1) for using incorrect technique and 2) for displaying poor attitude due to failure to follow directions.
Last but not least, Ken Stump has written the modern arrangement of the MHS Cheer Cadence for quint-toms (the original was written for tri-toms), and I have tweaked the snare part (to be easier) and the cymbal part (to be cooler). The updated Cheer Cadence with play along file is available on the Basics page.
Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. Several important changes have been made to the site. The Basics section has been updated with the 2011 marching season warmups and street beat, complete with play-along files! In addition, the Calendar has been updated to reflect WGI and MCGC events that we plan to attend this year. Keep your eyes on your e-mails for field-trip arrangements!
The Mason Bulldog varsity football team has met its match, falling to Dewitt last Friday. Congratulations to the football team for an excellent run!
The end of the football season also brings the 2010 marching band season to its conclusion. What a season it has been! Five seniors led the way on what has been described by my sources as "the best Mason drumline so far". I want to thank Ryan, Mina, Alex, Tyler, and Tiffanie for all the hard work. Their encouragement, dedication, and overall leadership will pay dividends for years to come, as what can be accurately described as the "the youngest Mason drumline so far" waits on-deck for the 2011 Season.
And just because the marching season is over does not mean that music goes on hiatus. No way! Solo & Ensemble festivals are looming, and all students are encouraged to participate. WGI & MCGC contests are just around the corner, too. WGI is holding a regional contest in Troy, Michigan this year, and the World Championships are going to be in Dayton, Ohio. The Calendar page has been updated to reflect some of these events, so be sure to check it out.
Again, congratulations to the 2010 Drumline! Be sure to check in for updates, and keep those hands moving so 2011 can be even better!
Fish Rhythm No. 1 has been added to the Basics page.
Congratulations to The Drumline for a powerful showing at the 2010 Grand Ledge Marching Band Exhibition. You sounded great, and this season has really come together.
Lots of website changes today. The 2010 Drumline page has been completely overhauled and renamed "Join the Drumline" in anticipation of the end of the season and looking forward to next year. The Calendars page has also been completely reworked, and features links to the MSBOA calendar, the MSBOA District VIII calendar, the MHS Drumline Calendar (in .xls format) and the Mason Public Schools calendar. The Marching Band syllabus has also been added.
Finally, work has been completed on a comprehensive warm-up piece entitled "Comprehensivity". This is the ultimate legato tool. It has been added to the "Basics" page, which has also been reworked to more appropriately group the warmups together.
The Drumline rehearsal schedule has been changed. New rehearsal schedules are Tuesdays right after school (2:45) until 4:30pm. We will no longer be having dedicated drumline rehearsals on Mondays, but beware! There are full-band rehearsals schedule for Mondays, so do not write off your Monday evenings. See the Calendarfor details!
While The Drumline remains busy, the end of march season is looming large. We only have 6 more performances, including Thursday Night Live and the Grand Ledge Exhibition, spread out over 6 more weeks. That means, if you include our summer practice schedule and band camp, there is only 1/3 of the season remaining! As such, we will start looking at the transition to concert season, and you will start hearing about solo and ensemble more and more.
Welcome back from band camp! We had a very successful camp, and The Drumline is well positioned to rock hard (and funky) this season.
A reminder to all of you that rehearsals are scheduled for Mondays, at 7:00pm, in the MHS band room. I usually show up very early instead of going home then coming back. It gives me the opportunity to do setup, maintenance, and get some personal practice time in. If for any reason you wish to show up early (before 7:00), then that will give you a opportunity to recieve free 1 on 1 instruction.
The Calendar page has been updated based on Mrs. Bousfield's handout "Mason High School Band Performances as of June 2010". The pages I have posted carry us through the football season. I strongly encourage all of you to plan accordingly to maximize participation. Remember, our first performance is August 27. That gives you only 17 days to bring your skills up to the level of a Jedi Master. Can you get there in time? As Master Yoda said: "Do, or do not... there is no 'try'!"
It has been a while since the last updates to the website, but here they are. The Basicspage has been updated to be easier to browse. A lot less verbiage. Also, rudimental challenges for two-height drumming and 5-stroke/flam accents have been added. I have also included next week's challenge (Flamacues and Pataflaflas). These rudiments rely heavily on the "staccato" or up-stroke, so be sure to give them a shot prior to next rehearsal.
The Calendar page has also been updated, and I actually identified an error in my previous schedule. Our first home game against Lincoln Consolidated Schools is scheduled for August 27th. Discounting band camp, that gives us only five more Drumline Practices. In case you were wondering, the time to step up started two weeks ago from yesterday.
Finally, for those that have missed it... Drumline rehearsals are scheduled for 7:00pm on Mondays. So be sure to mark those days off in your calendar. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you next week!
The first info session has been held, and was a great success. For those that attended, thank you for making it a great day and I hope that you found it helpful and informative. For those that did not attend, please make arrangements to attend the next info session on May 25th. These sessions are for your benefit, and if you fail to utilitze them, then you will be at a disadvantage during auditions. That being said, there are three things that I would like to point out.
First, some things that I observed that you should consider for next time. Although most of students had brought their audition packets, very few had them in a three ring binder with pencils. Not only was it difficult for some to keep their materials in order, but their papers were left to the mercy of the wind... not a problem if your paperwork is in a binder. In addition, some students worked hard to get all the equipment outside, while others were out hacking. Hacking is fun, but it does not reflect good teamwork. These are the types of things that will be noted during auditions, so be aware of them in the future.
Second, some students expressed a willingness for after-school practice over the next few weeks. While I appreciate the enthusiam, the method is somewhat mis-directed. The most effective practice tools created by human hands are (1) the practice pad, (2) the mirror, and (3) the metronome. In order to build strength, you need to put in the time, and you need to be able to evalute your technique. This reflects the "practice intellegently" portion of your expectations. Set aside practice time in the comfort of your own home. This will easily be the most time efficient, and distraction free solution. If you need tips or pointers, just ask me and I will see if we can work something out.
Finally, I sincerely wish we had some more preparatory time prior to auditions to help you develop, but it is what it is. If you have any kind of weakness in your playing, then please please please utilize the resources available on the website. There are posted articles on how to hold drumsticks, rudiments, exercises, and play along files. Check out the audition packets for other schools on the links page, they represent fantastic resources. Try sight-reading some of the passages in the other audition packets. Be sure to check out Woodward Academy... simply the best resource on technique for each instrument. Your instructors have very limited time to help you right now... but the web is up an running 24/7. Use it!
Again... great session and I appreciate the participation. I am confident that we are well on our way to building a great drumline for 2010. I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday!
Added "Time in Music" article to the Basics page. Anyone that has difficulty with note values, tempo, or time signature should read this article in order to glean new insight.
Just saw "Bustin' Down the Door" for the first time and was blown away. Immediately looked up the article here and was blown away again. This is a must-read for anyone interested in being great at anything. Also updated Calendar page (removed March, because March is long gone).
Contacts and Lessons page has been added. E-mail addresses for Mrs. McRay and Mrs. Bousfield have been copied from the publicly accessible Mason Staff Directory Website. Contact info for Mike Schorsch (including e-mail and phone number) has been posted. Lesson rates have been established. Also added exercises (MHS Sixes, MHS Fight Song, MHS Cheer Cadence, MSU Stick Contol) to Basics page, and updated all applicable .wav files with equivalent .mp3 files for better sound quality and faster download speeds. Share and enjoy!
Percussion clinic day tomorrow... students should bring their drumsticks and practice pads to school. Handouts will be distributed, and pdf copies of the handouts have been posted on theBasics page. A draft copy of The Drumline Tryout Packet will also be available for review, and will be posted next week.
Play-along files were added to Basics page. Includes open rolls and 3x2 at several tempi.
PERCUSSION CLINIC DAYS SCHEDULED FOR HIGH SCHOOL AND MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS! Friday, March 12, 2010 and Friday, April 20, 2010 Mike will be pulling the percussionists out of class for dedicated percussion time. Expect to learn more about stick grip, standard strokes, and rudiments, and how these concepts can be applied across a range of instruments.
On the website, typos were corrected and the Calendar has been updated. Links section has been reworked to be less cluttered and easier to use. Auditions page has been updated... no packet yet (sorry!) but its on its way.
MHS has recieved permission from Jon Weber at Michigan State University to post and share publicly accessible exercises from their web site. That means we now have downloaded pdf copies of the exercises PLUS the mp3 files that can be saved to iPods for easy practicing. Contact Mike to obtain mp3 files or download directly from MSU if you have software that can do so (e.g. Quicktime PRO).
Updated Basics Section... added Open Rolls Exercise, Triplet Grid Exercise, and Notation Key sheet. Updated Calendar page to make more user friendly.
Updated Basics Section... added NCA Snare Technique Article, 3x2 Exercise, and PAS Rudiments.
Updated Links Section... added link to Mississippi State University Drumline. They have a veritable tsunami of music posted on their website.
Links to Noteflight and Musescore free music scoring tools have been added. See the "Links" Section.
The deadline for High School District Solo and Ensemble is December 4th. REMEMBER, students have no school that day, so make sure you get in your registration before the 4th!