In the world of drum corps, BLAST! is legend. Blast, along with EPCOT’s Future Corps, is one of but two drum corps to transition into a professional ensemble. The championship drum corps BLAST, formerly known as Star of Indiana, began their journey in 1998, and by 1999 met with sold out runs at London Apollo, Hammersmith. In 2001, Blast stormed Broadway, where they have won both a Tony and an Emmy. International tours have followed, and the feverish following has remained fresh amidst an ever-changing show. davidbrubeck.com is pleased to call upon on Guillermo Ramirez to share his experiences in Blast
1. What have you learned about music and brass playing from touring with BLAST?
I’ve learned to tell a musical story. Not only through dynamics, style and expression, but also through my eyes, and the way I move to the music.
2. What is the group’s typical instrumentation, and how important has doubling been to you?
The current touring group is made up of 6 percussionists, 5 trombones, 2 euphoniums, 2 tubas, 2 French horns, and 7 trumpets. Doubling on multiple instruments has been extremely important because it has opened more performance opportunities for me. Currently, I am playing trombone, marching baritone, marching snare drum, concert and world percussion.
3. How do you approach flipping from classical styles to jazz?
We rehearse, and train ourselves to simply “flip the switch”, we do a lot of singing and can really hear the styles that we are going for. Also, everything is exaggerated; articulations, dynamics, etc.
4. What are your best memories from tours?
Best memories? That’s tough! It would have to be getting to perform in a packed hall just about every night and all the free time we had as a cast to hang out together!
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