USSBA Indoor expands percussion opportunities

Rich Hammond on the new concert/standstill classes


More percussion performance opportunities are available in 2011!

As the 2011 Indoor season nears, the US Scholastic Band Association is opening doors for more percussion groups to participate. We know rehearsal space can be limited, and funding for a full visual program can sometimes be close to impossible to find. But so often students desire the opportunity to perform, learn and grow during the winter season.

Rich Hammond, the USSBA’s new Indoor Percussion Education Director, is fine-tuning the circuit’s approach to concert and standstill percussion.  As we set out on the USSBA Indoor’s second season, Hammond shares thoughts and philosophies on how standstill and concert groups would take part. 

Tell us about the new concert /orchestral classes: 

RH: The concert/orchestral percussion class includes that type of instrumentation with an orchestral approach to the arrangements they perform. This would be considered a non-visual class. 

And standstill? 

RH: These groups would use all the traditional instruments of marching percussion with an eye on developing marching band-influenced skills. This non-visual class includes marching percussion, front ensemble, accessory and orchestral percussion. Arrangements would lean towards marching percussion types. 

What is Marching Percussion Standstill group? 

RH: An indoor percussion ensemble that concentrates on the art of marching percussion but does not take on the responsibility of the visual side of indoor pageantry. It differs from the related class of concert percussion in instrumentation and orchestration.  

This class is developed for the sole purpose of enhancing the marching band’s percussion section for the fall season and gives the students the opportunity to perform in a category that is just about developing their musical skills. 

What types of arrangements would they perform? 

The Marching Percussion Standstill group will perform more of rudimental/marching percussion style repertoire. Think of your marching band percussion section rehearsing on their own before a competition or football game. 

Arrangements should be tailored to the art of marching percussion including the “front ensemble.” Can you play your marching band show from the fall season? Sure! Can you play next year’s marching band show? Even better! No “Front Ensemble?” can you just use your battery? ABSOLUTELY! 

Tell us the pros of developing this concept. 

RH: The Marching Percussion Standstill (MPSS) is being developed for the sole purpose of enhancing the Marching Bands percussion section for the fall season. It’s a training ground for your students that allow your marching percussionists to experiment and train with other instruments during the winter, thus making it an easy way to pool your talent in a group setting. 

Dealing with logistics such as; obtaining gym space or any other rehearsal space other than the band room is made easy for the band director. So, no gym time is needed! And, rehearsal can occur during the school day. 

MPSS also allows students to concentrate on developing their Marching Percussion skills. Using the marching band show from the previous fall season is one way a show can be developed for the winter indoor season. Or, maybe you want to start learning the show for next year’s fall season. This would be a great way to start the process and give the students a head start! 

Registration for Indoor percussion, colorguard and dance groups is now underway! 


Questions about the new classes, or for further information, feel free to contact Hammond directly at 908-304-5987 or by email at




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