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John S. Pratt Has Died


USARD Life Member, Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame Member, World Drum Corps Hall of Fame Member, West Point "Hellcat" Head, John S. Pratt Has Died. 

We will have more information about his death when we learn more. In the meantime, if you don't know the story of this important drummer and composer, click on the link below for a fine biography for John by the Percussive Art Society:




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Thursday, 06 May 2010 15:25

Charlie's Convention Picture Gallery

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012 12:07

The 2012 U.S.A.R.D. Convention was Stupendous!

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2012 Convention a Success!

(Full review "under construction" - check back soon.)

Please pardon our delay in posting all the details about this past weekend's convention in Lancaster, PA.  The committee is busy writing, counting, editing and posting to assess and wrap-up the weekend of non-stop drumming and fun.  Based on the comments shared at our annual meeting and critique session and the smiles seen on faces all weekend-long, I'll gladly pronounce itan unqualified success!

In the meantime, we'd like to share a few pics and videos of the action as captured by our members. Until our full review and videos are posted, please visit us on Facebook to see clips and comments on the convention.  Here's what a few of our members had to say:
"USARD Convention in Lancaster, PA, this past weekend was one of the most enjoyable percussion experiences of my life. Great people, great music, great fun. Thanks to all in USARD."  - Gary Rockwell, VA

"I had a ball, one of the best events in a long time. Thanks for all the work you've all done to make it happen."  - Joe Fontana, NY

"USARD is as much of seeing other drummers as much as being seen, and even more of meeting friends old and new.If ever there was a USARD event that everyone of you should have attended and stayed for, yesterday was the one."
Bob Zarfoss, PA

"It was truly a terrific convention - as many have said, 'how can we top this one!" All the clinicians were wonderful. The Hellcats brought the place down!"
 - Joe Gillotti, VT"

THANK YOU, Gary, Joe, Bob and Joe for your accolades and THANKS to all who attended for making this, our 3rd annual convention, the biggest and most successful one, yet.  We hope you all had as wonderful a time as we did.  

We look forward to seeing YOU next year!!!

For the Executive Committee,
Steve Young


Wednesday, 25 April 2012 01:59

Rope-Drum Maintenance

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Rope-Tension Drum Maintenance by Jim Ellis of Cooperman Fife & Drum Company

Jim Ellis gives us attendees of the 2012 United States Association of Rudimental Drummers convention an insightful clinic on the care and feeding of the lovable but sometimes finicky rope-tension drum.

View the following video to learn more.......

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 16:11

The Historical Sound of the Field Drum

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Jim Smith at the 2012 U.S.A.R.D. Convention

A surprise presentation by U.S.A.R.D. member, Jim Smith gives convention attendees an insight to how a rope-tension field snare drum would sound in historic time.

There is a lot of interesting information here - please check out the video below........

U.S.M.A. Hellcats Warming Up at the 2012 U.S.A.R.D.Convention

The video below shows the Hellcats warming up prior to their evening performance at the 2012 United States Association of Rudimental Drummers convention.

The complete performance video will be coming up soon.

Jim Clark gives the United States Association of Rudimental Drummer attendees a  most interesting, in-depth account of the early history of the drum with fife.

The recently published author gives us his personal insight into his early life in the fife and drum world of The Connecticut Valley.

The following video should be viewed in its entirety; there's so much to learn, see and hear!...........................................

The U.S. Air Force Drum & Bugle Corps Drumline performs at the United States Association of Rudimental Drummers annual convention in Lancaster, PA


Here is a virtual hall of fame drumline (most members of this ensemble are in the hall of fame) with John Bosworth, John Flowers, Bob Zarfoss, Eric Landis, Steve Young, Bill Mojica and Sean Landis.

Check out the video below:

Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:47

John Flowers Honored at 2012 USARD Convention

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John Flowers is Honored at the 2012 U.S.A.R.D. Convention

Thursday, 26 April 2012 22:50

St. Lucy's Alumni Drum Trio with John Flowers

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St. Lucy's Alumni Drum Trio with John Flowers perform at the 2012 U.S.A.R.D. Convention

This is the performance that brought down the house!

The U.S. Army "Old Guard" Fife & Drum Corps Drumline show their stuff at the 2012 United States Association of Rudimental Drummer convention!

One of the highlights of the weekend, the Old Guard Drumline enthralled those attending with precision execution and remarkable rudimental composition.

The U.S. Army was well represented and and respected this day!

Friday, 27 April 2012 18:15

The Middle River Ancients Perform

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Our Friends The Middle River Ancients Perform at This Year's Convention.

Bob Zarfoss explains the practice routine and tonal goals of the Hanover Lancers Drum & Bugle Corps Drumline.

Pipe Band Drummer extraordinaire, Jon Quigg performs at U.S.A.R.D. Convention!

Along with former Air Force Pipe Band  and World Drum Corps Hall of Fame drummer, John Bosworth, Jon explains the evolution and rudimental development of pipe band drumming. His solos performances were incredible!

Check out the video:

Friday, 27 April 2012 23:04

Thom Hannum's Clinic at the 2012 Convention

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DCI Hall of Fame drummer, Thom Hannum presents his clinic which covers some of his work with the University of Massachusetts Marching Band drumline as well as demonstrating some incredible playing!...............................

Friday, 27 April 2012 23:30

A Special Announcement at the 2012 Convention

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Hearing this announcement many of us were surprised that what was announced had not happened years ago!

Play the video below to learn more:.........................

Saturday, 28 April 2012 02:44

The Skyliners Alumni Duet Performance

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The many time drum ensemble I&E champs, The N.Y. Skyliners Alumni Drum Ensemble with Joe Fontana and Jack Murray give a brilliant and entertaining performance at the USARD convention.

Watch the video and enjoy!:

Saturday, 28 April 2012 12:17

The New England Chapter U.S.A.R.D. Performance

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The Rudimental Drummers Club of New England (RDCNE), a U.S.A.R.D. chapter performs some popular fife and drum jam pieces as well as some original compositions for the genre.

Special kudos goes out to the individuals of this group who in preparing for this show traveled far and long to learn new drum pieces of an unfamiliar style. Dave Hevrin many times drove about 150 mile round trip to and from my home to learn the new material. Gary Gillotti, as well, with an almost 3 hour trip - one-way! Ginger Wilk learned the new for her fife tunes that the drums accompanied.

The last two pieces of this set were dedicated to our recently deceased friend and USARD member, Warren Lee.

Please play the video, the narration by Phyllis Gillotti explains all:

Sunday, 29 April 2012 10:18

John Flowers Clinic - "Dynamically Speaking"

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World Drum Corps Hall of Fame drummer, John Flowers offers a plethora of drumming information from the history of Ginther's Grey Ghost, which he performs with his old battery mate, Don Walls, to the texture and visual qualities of a great drum solo. Beyond that, John gives us many interesting and entertaining anecdotes from his many years in drum corps.

Play the video.....................

Sunday, 29 April 2012 11:17

The New York Drummers Association

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The New York Drummers Association (NYDA) performs some standard, "Ancient" drum pieces as they might have been performed in the early days.

Bill McGrath, Jr is accompanied by his club members on rope snare: Dale Andrews, Doug Morrow, Paul Hallifax with Harry Jenkins on bass drum.

Bill also presents a special memorial for the late World Hall of Fame and NYDA drummer, Doug Kleinhans.

Please play the video to see and hear more........................

Sunday, 29 April 2012 11:36

Bill Messerschmidt at U.S.A.R.D. 2012

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Bill Messerschmidt offers three perspectives related to the use of  drum rudiments: as applied to their original historical context; as applied to modern rudimental drumming and other areas of percussion and as a foundation for creative percussive interpretation.

There is much interesting and educative information Bill is giving us here - please play the video below:

Monday, 30 April 2012 00:33

Happy Birthday John Flowers!

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In the video below Barbara Flowers presents her husband a 75th birthday cake!

Sorry about the poor camera skills.

Monday, 30 April 2012 00:45

Final Words at the 2012 U.S.A.R.D. Convention

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Steve Young and Bill McGrath give some closing words to conclude the 2012 U.S.A.R.D. convention:

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 19:41

2012 Convention Photos

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Charlie Kammer has sent for display over 200 photographs taken at this year's convention.

To make them all available for display a Flickr® account was set up. The upload to the USARD's hosting service of this many file was prohibitive!


Click HERE to See Charlie Kammer's Fine 2012 USARD Convention Photos on Flickr®!

The performance of the Rudimental Drum Club of New England

  • Gary Gay - Bass Drum            (Out of the picture on the left - Sorry Gary!)blush
  • Randy Wilcox - Bass Drum
  • Gary Gillotti - Snare Drum
  • Joe Gillotti - Snare Drum
  • Dave Hevrin - Snare Drum
  • Ginger Wilk - Fife
  • David Fischmann - Fife
  • Kathy Brown - Fife

Former Connecticut Hurricane & St. Peters drum corps member, Frank Zappone performs at the 2013 USARD convention.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 04:00

Video - The NY Skyliners Alumni Duet

The Skyliners Alumni Percussion Duet with Joe Fontana & Jack Murray at 2013 USARD convention


To all U.S.A.R.D. 4th Annual Convention Performers, Clinicians, Members, Participants, Guests and Board Members.
On behalf of Steve Young, Joe Gillotti, Gary Gillotti, Charlie Kammer, Gary Rockwell, Bill Mojica, Bill Hartmann, Nick Biscotti, Doug Morrow and myself, what more can we say than "Thank You" so much for a great weekend.  What an enjoyable time it was and with such great comradery.  Let us all look to the future with the same enthusiasm, vigor and energy.
Our salute to all for such a fine weekend!
Bill McGrath for Steve Young and
the Board of Directors of the U.S.A.R.D.      
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 04:00

Video - The Air Force D&B Corps Alumni

The Air Force D&B Corps Alumni Drum  Ensemble, led by Bob Zarfoss performs at the 2013 USARD convention. From left-to-right are: John Bosworth, Steve Young, Eric Landis, Bill Mojica with guest on bass drum, Sean Landis.

I apoligize to Bill Mojica for not getting him into the frame! Obviously, it's because I had too much "medicine" the previous night. wink

Bill Messerschmidt & Austin Andrulis perform some pieces by Bill, John Flowers, Les Parks and Andrew Reamer.

Rudimental drumming expert and individual champion, Rick Beckham performs a clinic at the 2013 USARD convention with the theme: "What is Rudimental Drumming?"

New York Chapter of USARD  - NYDA perform three solos from a Jr. corps of the 60’s, The Emerald Cadets, of Rochester, NY, written by Doug Kleinhans and adapted by Bill McGrath in tribute to Doug and the Emerald Cadets. Performers are: Snare: Bill McGrath, Jr, Doug Morrow, Paul Halifax, Danny Magsaman and Don Burns.  Bass: Tom DeFazio, Kevin McGrath and Jeff White. Performance (continued): John Flowers, Skee Derr, Bill McGrath, Joe Fontana, Jack Murray & Barb Flowers will perform “The Round- About,” written by John Flowers and dedicated to Bill McGrath

Friday, 26 April 2013 04:00

Video - The Hanover Lancers Drum Line


The Hanover Lancers Drumline,instructed and led by Bob Zarfoss, will perform a warm-up exercise, a street beat, and a drum solo, "The Duck, 2013."
Friday, 26 April 2013 04:00

Video - The Middle River Ancients

Middle River Ancients from Maryland will play “Thunder & Lightening”, “The Black Pearl” and “Just Having Fun".

Performers: Nick Biscotti, Ron Church, Charlie Kammer, Bill Hartman, Bill Mojica and Bill Strickland.

The Skyliners Drum Ensemble with Jack Murray and Joe Fontana play “The Winner.” The drum ensemble consists of 8 players:

  • 3 snares: Joe Fontana, Jack Murray & Matt Dennison
  • 2 Cymbals: Karen Kox and Evelyn Krejci
  • 2 Bass Drummers: Steve Turner & Jack Stern
  • 1 Triple Bass: Chet Figurski.

John Rozum How the drum set player prepares and performs for the audience.  John demonstrates incorporating rudiments into three types of drum solos.

Mark Beecher of the NARD "The William H. Reamer Rudimental Drum Method"

Snares: Mark Beecher, Steve Gillespie, Lilli Beiduk Middlebrooks, Steve Kirkpatrtick, Rita Macey Bernert, Don Mihok, Eileen Mihok, and Bill Maling; Bass Drummers: Tom Middlebrooks, and Ben Santiago. Bugler and Fifer: Ray Eyler. Performing unnamed solos and cadences and the Long Roll, Downfall of Paris, Three Camps and Fifers Delight.

Moodus Drum & Fife Corps with Amy Armstrong - Rudimental Roots History  

  • Fife: Sherry McLaughlin, Terri Anderson Murray, Jamie Murray  
  • Snare: David Strong, Jeff Sanborn and Amy Armstrong and Patrick Murray 
  • Bass: Erin McNamara

Narrator - Sue Cifaldi


John C. Flowers

Phrasings: Hand-to-Hand-vs-Traditional & Innovative Sticking Patterns
John demonstrates ruff and triplet combinations with excerpts from “The Edinboro Swinger” which he composed & dedicated to Doug Kleinhans. Other themes are: visual phrasing; favoring the right hand; 16th diddles; inverted flam diddles & flam taps and innovative bass parts vs. snare counterpoint (with Paul Moseley).

Brendan Mason demonstrates the leading edge drumming arrangements to tradtional fife music of the Connecticut Patriots Fife & Drum Corps.


Credit - Jeff Holloway

St. Lucy’s Drum&Bugle Corps Snare Drum Trio with Chew Gernandt, RaySchmerin and Dave Richardson playing a Les Parks solo and an original solo by Chew Gernandt.

Saturday, 04 May 2013 04:00

Video - Jon Quigg USARD 2013

Jon Quigg, former instructor of the City of Washington Pipe Band, will play a solo, "Up One Wall and Down the Other," which melds American and Scottish Pipe Band rudimental styles ... some of it traditional, some not so much.

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 04:00

Video - Adrian Mordaunt USARD 2013

Adrian Mordaunt of P.A.S. and instructor of Metro New York Pipe Band, current Grade 3 World Champions. Drum Sergeant Adrian Mordaunt on snare and Pipe Major Mike Mahoney from the New York Metro Pipe Band on pipes. Selections are: Hornpipe and Jigs; March, Strathspey & Reel and a Drum Fanfare.  Jon Quigg will join Adrian for a performance of Alex Duthart's seminal drum composition, titled simply “Drummer's Fanfare".


C.A.D.R.E. Percussion Ensemble
Pieces include: John Wooton's Warm-up;  Rudimental Classics; Warming Up Hot!; NUDA4U.
Snare: Paul Mosley, Ken Miller, Jim Kane and John Swartz.
Bass Tri-Rack: Cliff Blundell  
Low Bass: Ron Meyers
Percussion: Neil Hawthorne and Vince Cicchine  
Business Mgr., John MacDonald;
Pres., Fred Johnson
Writer & Arranger, Paul Mosley.
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Convention Videos