Rat a Tat
by Frank Jacobson

Rat–A–Tat #1

Greetings, Drum Corps Aficionados!
Welcome to the first ever sCORPSboard column devoted to percussion. While I have written newsletter articles in the past on a variety of topics, this is the first time I will be writing on a hobby of mine that I have enjoyed since…well…since I was younger than I am now.

Caryn and Cathy haven’t really given me any specific goals or ground rules for this column, so I am going to try to make it what you want it to be. I can get answers to your percussion questions from a few drum corps instructors that I have met over the years. We can learn about technique, rudiments, styles, high-tension vs. low-tension, or just about any other battery related question you’d like answered. We can also delve into ways of providing education to future drum corps members…how to teach youngsters the art of rudimental drumming.

A little about me…I am originally from Chicago where I became a drum and bugle corps fan. My brother marched with the CHICAGO Cavaliers (Go Green Machine) tossing a rifle in the early 60’s. He later wanted to play contrabass, so he moved to the Nisei Ambassadors (Go For Broke!) where he was one of their first contras. I joined Nisei in 1967, originally to play baritone. My asthma got the worst of me and I switched to battery under ‘B’ corps (Nisei Envoys) instructor Tina Akiyama. I eventually made the ‘A’ corps under the legendary Mitch Markovitch on percussion, Mike Ramelli on horns and Dale Peters on M&M.

After leaving Nisei and going to school, I joined the Chicago Fire Department where I served as center snare for the last incarnation of the Chicago Fire Department Marching Band. 1992 brought me to the Seattle area where I met long-time drum corps instructor Jim Nevermann, a former percussion caption head for Phantom Regiment. Together Jim and I formed Olympic Shadow Marching Percussion Ensemble where we taught and performed corps style marching. In 1997, we met several other former corps members from around the US and formed Northwest Venture Drum and Bugle Corps. http://www.nwventure.org. I currently serve as secretary of the board and play quads.

In my spare time, I teach beginning rudimental drumming and drum set methods to children and adults. I also watched my 16-year-old daughter who plays mellophone, march one year with the Seattle Cascades (http://www.seattlecascades.com) and now marches with Northwest Venture. My 11-year-old is still taking lessons from Blue Devil (http://www.bluedevils.org) (originally called The Martinettes) founder Bill Martin. When he turns 14…watch out!!

Hope to hear from you soon!!


Other Rat a Tat columns:

| Rat a Tat #1 (07/03/00) | Rat a Tat #2 (08/06/00) | Rat a Tat #3 (09/12/00) | Rat a Tat #4 (03/01/01) |
| Rat a Tat #5 (07/25/01) | Rat a Tat #6 (10/25/01) | Rat a Tat #7 (02/05/02) |

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