Q&A with Dave Marvin

Dave Marvin was inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame in April 2008. The award recognized the brilliant contributions he has made to the indoor drum line movement as program designer for Northglenn High School, the Blue Knights World Ensemble and Longmont High School, all from the Denver area. He is also the director of the Denver Broncos Stampede drum line and several theme park percussion ensembles.

1. DeLucia: When did you start playing drums?

Marvin: I joined the school band in the fifth grade, and I joined the Blue Knights when I was 11. I saw the Blue Knights in a parade and was impressed by the precision, so I joined the corps at their next rehearsal!

2. DeLucia: What are benefits of being in a marching ensemble?

Marvin: Learning about time management, hard work and teamwork. The kind of intense, detailed practices and the determination to seek excellence and not “settle” translates to success in any venture.

3. DeLucia: Any “hip tips” for teachers?

Marvin: Write for the real talent level in your line, not for what you wished the talent level was. Find everybody’s strengths and try to emphasize them.

4. DeLucia: Would you rather play, teach, write or judge?

Marvin: I love to write, to blend new instruments and ideas to create sounds that are new to the activity and are a surprise to judges and audiences alike.

5. DeLucia: What is the future for bands, corps and drum lines?

Marvin: I hope that entertainment becomes the driving force behind all of these activities as a way to break through to larger audiences in the same way that Cirque, Blast, Stomp, Blue Man Group succeeded.

6. DeLucia: Any unfulfilled personal goals?

Marvin: I would love to help indoor percussion grow overseas in places like Japan, Europe, India and elsewhere.

Note from the Editor

This article is the first in a series of interviews with influential marching percussionists. Next up: Tom Aungst from Dartmouth High School and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.

About the Author

Dennis DeLucia is a percussion teacher, arranger, clinician and judge. A former member of the West Point Band, he is best known for his successes with championship corps and bands. He has been inducted into three of the major Halls of Fame: Drum Corps International, WGI Sport of the Arts and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.

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