Percussion, Drumming, & Chamber Music

A Faire Groove Indeed

For selected Drum Corps, Percussion Ensemble or Solo Snare

This piece of ‘Fusion Drumming’ requires that all the performers have a firm knowledge of both American and Scottish snare, tenor, and bass drumming, and can be performed by either a Scottish Drum Corps, solo snare drum or Percussion Chamber Ensemble (min. 4 players). The work comprises nine segments: Opening, Scottish Hornpipe, Butt-Stroke Groove, Scottish Jig, Back-Sticking, Juggle March, Paradiddle Ram, Solos, and Kit Reynolds’ classic open roll segment as the Finale.


The initial conception was to create a piece for solo snare drum that could satisfy a variety of performing situations which included Renaissance Faires. After a solo performance of an early rendition an audience member remarked, “That was certainly a fair groove indeed!” The completed work’s title now bares this statement and performance arena. The musical intent is to entertain a wide variety of people while crossing the rudimental worlds developed in America and Scotland. To this end, performers will gain a greater understanding of these contrasting styles of drumming through the varied vocabulary, stylistic demands, and required techniques to suit the chosen instrumentation. This piece will no doubt challenge any performer and leave audiences cheering for more.   

A Place for Everything

For selected Drum Corps, Percussion Ensemble or Solo Snare

The title is inspired by the phrase, “A place for everything and everything in its place,” which is credited to the liberal Scottish author and reformer, Samuel Smiles (1812-1904). This advanced work of fused drumming embodies the phrase as it makes use of different facets of rudimental drumming and styles including Scottish, Breton, Swiss Basel, Orchestral, American Fife & Drum, and contemporary American. The arrangement for Percussion Quartet was commissioned by Andrew Szypula, a member of the Ruff Drags Drum Corps and premiered at Temple University on April 21, 2015.

Originally composed for The Ruff Drags Drum Corps, a fusion-style performance group created by the composer and premiered at PASIC 2014. The piece is also arranged for percussion quartet and can be performed with conventional orchestral instrumentation or found instruments. Performers are required to have a firm knowledge base of the aforementioned styles to appropriate each segment. Compositionally, the piece is developed from the group’s namesake, a Ruff and a Drag, two rudiments used in nearly all styles of drumming. Structurally, the five segments are: an introductory March; a Breton dance, Ronds de Loudeac; a 6/8 half-time shuffle; a Scottish ‘tap-buzz’ groove with visual features; a Swiss Basel Rigodon (or Tagwacht); and a flourish of contemporary American drumming.

A Salute to Marty Hurley

For selected Drum Corps, Percussion Ensemble or Solo Snare

Premiered at the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, IN by The Ruff Drags Drum Corps. This piece of ‘Fusion Drumming’ requires that all the performers have a firm knowledge of both American and Scottish snare, tenor and bass drumming, and can be performed by either a Scottish Drum Corps, solo snare drum, or Percussion Chamber Ensemble (min. 4 players). The work is dedicated to the late, great American drumming icon Mr. Marty Hurley. Mr. Hurley’s sudden passing in the Fall of 2011 revealed to the composer, the many compositional and educational influences that were a result of Marty Hurley.


The opening “Nola Shuffle” is meant to put the contemporary Scottish Drumming vocabulary in a different sort of swing other than the normal Scottish Pipe Band application or even straight-ahead jazz. The ‘Cajun’ or ‘Dixieland’ music of New Orleans, Louisiana is a perfect musical fit for the dot-and-cut nature of Scottish drumming. Appropriately, this is also the area from which Mr. Hurley lived and taught the majority of his great career. The piece includes musical quotes from selected Marty Hurley “Phantom” works either directly quoted or adapted for the Scottish drummer.  The ending is an American blast from the 70s and 80s (Mr. Hurley’s prime years of teaching DCI) as all the players engage in a ‘Phrenzy’ of blazing fast sixlet-based back-sticking patterns ensuring entertainment for all. This Salute will dazzle audiences of any drumming preference, help educate both American and Scottish drummers alike in these diverse and now fused styles, and further the influences of Mr. Marty Hurley.  

Character No. 2 for Snare Quartet and Marimba

Four Snare Drums accompany the original Marimba solo by Casey Cangelosi

Casey Cangelosi has become one of the most prolific classical percussion composers and performers of the early 21st Century. Of his many compositions, his Character No.2 for 4-mallet marimba became an early hit and a virtuosic classic. This snare drum music is set to a shortened arrangement of the original work. 


In 2012 the RVI Percussion Ensemble from Northwest, AR presented a new twist on this virtuosic work by adding not 1, but 4 marching snare drums to the mix. The result was a near Championship finish at the 2012 PASIC Small Ensemble contest, finishing less than a point behind the frontrunner. Since this premier, the composition has taken-on a new light with the equally challenging snare drum quartet arrangement. This accompaiment can be performed with anywhere from 1 to 4 players utilizing a wide variety of snare drums. 

Hopefully Heroic

For Two Snare and Tenor Drums; Composed w/ Mike Hodges & Nick Angelis

An advanced work of rudimental drumming for two snare drums and multi-tenor drums. Though originally conceived for contemporary American marching drums, other types of drums may be used. The piece utilizes a constant flow of complex rhythmic vocabulary that is widely used in contemporary American drumming, Orchestral drumming and Scottish pipe band drumming. It is necessary for each player to have an intermediate to advanced understanding of each aforementioned genres, their unique musical styles, techniques and approaches.


The structure of the work is built from chosen drumming vocabulary or rudiments. These figures are set to different grooves and structures followed by variations and further developments. The opening segment introduces each player and focused rudiments via eight beats of simple syncopation. The ensuing groove in 5/8 time acts as a short Trio (structurally) followed by the first of two different rudimental modulations. These modulations demonstrate not only the physical similarities between otherwise contrasting figures, but also the musical control necessary to blend them together producing a very dramatic and virtuosic effect. A substantial rhythmic cycle follows, building from symmetrical note groupings: 4-3-2-3-4. After the second rudimental modulation, a classic ‘American’ powerhouse of open roll figures and recapitulated motives provide for an exciting and dramatic conclusion.

The Conundrum

A Scottish March; Commissioned for the 2013 ASO Modern Snare Drum Competition

The Conundrum is a Scottish March written by the great bagpiper composer, Peter R. MacLeod (1878-1965). MacLeod composed over 200 tunes and is considered one of the most prolific modern composers of the instrument contributing other classics such as Dora MacLeod, John Morrison of Assynt House, Major Manson, Hugh Kennedy, and Pipe Major Willie MacLean. He served as Pipe Major of the 7th Cameronians Scottish Riffles Territorial Army in the early 1900s. While working in Glasgow in the late 1920s, MacLeod injured and eventually lost his right leg in a machine accident. The injury put an end to his competitive piping career, but the prosthetic ailment has become synonymous with this particular tune as one can easily envision a limping man struggling to march along his way. 

As the drumming for this tune was commissioned for the 2013 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Modern Snare Drum Competition, the intent is to perform on either a Scottish or orchestral snare drum, but still alongside a bagpiper. By Scottish terms, this drum corps (meaning the percussion section of the pipe band) score would be suitable for a Grade II+ band or individual player. The vocabulary used is quite contemporary for all the drums including the tenor drums and bass drum. It is the intent of the composer that this commission and publication introduces this beautiful style of drumming to otherwise unknowing players who might eventually find their way to a pipe band themselves.

To Perseverance

A Duo for Marimba and selected Woodwind Instrument

A duet written for marimba and selected woodwind instrument presented with marimba and vibraphone. This advanced chamber work was written to depict the often overwhelming nature of a early adulthood. T he piece begins with trial and tribulation and introduces a lamenting melodic figure that searches for purpose and resolution as aggressive and dissonant figures are seemingly around every corner. A perfect recital-ending piece that will please any audience member as well as challenge both players. This piece was continued and completed thanks to the musical, compositional, and personal inspiration of Christopher Deane of the University of North Texas.

Salute to the U.S. Air Force Pipe Band

Commissioned by the Entitled; for Scottish Drum Corps, Percussion Ensemble or Solo Snare

Commissioned by the United States Air Force Reserve, the work is meant to preserve the great legacy of the entitled military group. It’s premier came in 2012 in front of President Barrack Obama, his staff and visiting Irish Dignitaries on the steps of the White House in Washington, DC as a part of the President’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

This work of fused rudimental drumming marries both the Scottish and traditional American styles, as did the drum corps for which it is written. The intent is for this piece is to accommodate beginners through advanced players featuring original passages as well as segments of music used by the USAFPB from 1957 to 2012. Perfectly suitable for Scottish drum corps, traditional American Fife and Drum Corps, contemporary American drumlines, or orchestral percussion. Original and Beginner arrangements are available. 

White Knuckle Snare Stroll

Written to accompany the original Marimba Solo by Casey Cangelosi

Casey Cangelosi has become one of the most prolific classical percussion composers and performers of the early 21st Century. Of his many compositions, his White Knuckle stroll for 2-mallet marimba became an early hit and a virtuosic classic. This snare drum music is set to the original work in its entirety.


This snare drum arrangement intended to demonstrate the use of various rudimental styles and vocabularies from around the world in a familiar Western context. Arranged for and premiered at PASIC 2014. 

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