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The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) takes place every year in Indianapolis, IN. Percussionists from around the globe gather to participate in panel discussions, attend workshops and performances, participate in high school and collegiate competitions, check out all of the latest gear in the enormous exhibit hall, and connect with other percussionists. This year, four CMPI fellows and three student navigators had the honor of attending over the weekend of November 11. When asked what was their favorite part of attending the convention, this is what they had to say.

Isabel Armenta
Isabel Armenta, CMPI 10th grader

I loved PASIC. They had a wide variety of sessions, masterclasses, performances, and seminars. It was so much fun to see a bunch of other percussionists from different backgrounds. There were loads of different percussion instruments to buy in the expo, so I got to treat myself. I learned so many things. The whole experience improved my thoughts about playing percussion. I can’t wait to go next year!

Kurt and Erica Lamb
Erica Lamb, CMPI parent

My favorite part was the drum circle, which I got to participate in. It was so much fun. Now I see why my son loves beating on stuff so much! Also seeing my son light up when we attended the technology clinic. He loved getting to see how this percussionist was playing using a DAW system to be able to loop the sounds and create his own beats. He’s been really into making his music and now he sees a way to do it. I got all of that information for the equipment, so we’ll see!

Kurt Lamb, CMPI 7th grader

We got to see the different types of instruments; for example I saw a steel pan, which I have never gotten to play or see before in person. I’ve only seen it in videos before. I also got to learn the Rugrats theme song on marimba. I did a marimba workshop and the guy was impressed with my playing, so he taught me how to play the Rugrats theme song with four mallets. It was really fun!

Sophia Luong
Sophia Luong, CMPI 11th grader

I attended a percussion ensemble concert by the University of Texas. There were three world premieres, which was cool. My favorite was the last piece because at the end of the piece, one of the performers had this big giant Thor mallet that he used on a woodblock. By the end of the piece, the wooden block was pretty much broken and it was really cool to watch.

Jade Garcia
Jade Garcia, CMPI Student Navigator

My favorite part was the energy of enthusiasm in the conference spaces. The feeling of community and collective excitement was tangible. Students were introducing themselves to others and sharing their backgrounds and stories. I, being a clarinetist at this percussion conference, was personally invited to multiple jam sessions later that night. So many students had their sticks out and were making any available surface a drum, and every participant was laser-focused on absorbing every ounce of information at lecture and performance sessions. The attendees and performers alike were openly passionate about percussion and committed to getting everything they could out of this short time together.

Miguel Aguirre
Miguel Aguirre, CMPI Student Navigator

My favorite event at PASIC was the FUNdamentals of Brazilian Samba: rhythmic interplay for use in large group settings. The guest presenter, Fabio Oliveira, did an incredible job of showing us the importance of internalizing rhythms in song. I also enjoyed walking around the PASIC expo and learning about different percussion equipment, and watching percussion enthusiasts try out different equipment!

Jennifer Woodrum, CMPI Student Navigator

I attended a panel discussion on recording for pre-screenings, led by four percussionists affiliated with orchestras and universities all over the US. There was of course a lot of discussion about equipment, but the biggest discussion points were centered on leading up to the recording. They talked a lot about setting a timeline for your recording date as if it were a live audition – organize the repertoire, make a list of equipment needs, build a timeline and in that timeline include benchmarks for learning the repertoire, conduct practice recordings, get feedback from trusted peers, and research by watching a lot of different percussion videos online. Too often, students treat the preparation for the recording differently than a live audition and end up with a stressful recording session and an unpolished finished product. This was incredibly informative and I can’t wait to share this info with my fellows!


PASIC photo, PASIC video, Isabel Armenta, Erica and Kurt Lamb, Kurt Lamb, Sophia Luong and Jennifer Woodrum, Jade Garcia, Miguel Aguirre, Jennifer Woodrum, PASIC photos

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