Drum corps and drum lines are increasingly adding an innovative new pit instrument—the Xylosynth, a MIDI mallet controller. The Xylosynth looks like an ordinary xylophone or other mallet instrument, but when you hit the keys, it emits programmable MIDI sounds.

Created almost 15 years ago by Will Wernick of Wernick Musical Instruments, the Xylosynth features wooden keys that reflect dynamics, nuance and playing styles, as well as a pedal input that can instantly change the key or octave of the sound.

The Xylosynth is available in two-, three- and four-octave versions. It recently became a part of The Blue Devils’ System Blue line of products.

“The Xylosynth’s rugged, simple design, flawless performance and excellent customer support is key to The Blue Devils decision to endorse the Wernick System Blue Xylosynth” said David Gibbs, executive director of The Blue Devils in a press release.

In addition to The Blue Devils, corps including the Bluecoats, The Cadets, Carolina Crown and Pioneer and WGI competing groups such as Rhythm X, Riverside Community College, San Diego State University and Ayala High School currently use the Xylosynth.

“We are honored and excited,” Wernick said in a press release. “The Xylosynth has already proved itself in the WGI indoor drum line competition and is now available to those playing outside.”

For more information, visit www.wernick.net.

Five music programs were honored to be the first recipients of the Dr. William P. Foster Project Award of Excellence.

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