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Home > Spotlight > Selecting A Winter Drum Line Show

Tips on Selecting an Indoor Show for your Winter Drum Line

Twelve points to consider before buying a show

By Wayne R. Downey,

If your drum line travels, ask the designer for regional or WGI protection so multiple groups at a contest aren't playing your show. DECEMBER 1, 2011 — This is the time of year when band directors find themselves with the daunting task of selecting an Indoor Show for their Winter Drum Line. Unfortunately those of us who play trumpet, flute, trombone or oboe haven't the slightest idea where to turn. With the competitive season closing in and our trusty computer in front of us most of us will turn to the Internet hoping that Google or any of the other popular search engines can aid us in our search.

Selecting a show that's appropriate for your budget, students' abilities, socio-economic area as well as one with educational value would seem to me the logical place to start. With that in mind, I polled some of the brightest minds in Indoor Percussion, teachers, composers and arrangers and asked them what they considered the most important factors in selecting a Winter Drum Line show are.

Here's a compilation of their thoughts for you to use as a "Guide to Success" in selecting a show that's best suited for your Winter Drum Line.

When selecting your show music, consider whether your hometown audience (and the performers) will enjoy listening to it. • Is the price right?

• Is the difficulty level appropriate for the experience level in each of your sections?

• Are instrumentation and size options available?

• Are there modified parts for beginners and inexperienced players?

• Is drill included with drill charts and animation?

• Is Local, Regional & WGI protection available?

• Is the music accessible, will your hometown audience enjoy listening to it?

• Will the program provide your group with the opportunity for competitive success?

• Are MP3s and audio files of samples used in the arrangement included?

• Is the musical style and show appropriate for your socio-economic area?

• Is the show an original composition or just arrangements of copyrighted music?

• Are practice tools (MP3s for individual rehearsal) available?

Wayne Downey is the brass arranger/composer/supervisor for the fourteen-time DCI Champion Concord Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps and is a member of the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame. Being distinguished as one of the finest brass teachers/clinicians and arrangers in the world, Wayne enjoys an active teaching schedule in the capacity of arranger and musical consultant with the Tony & Emmy Award winning show "Blast", the DCA Champion Syracuse Brigadiers, as well as many fine high school and college programs. Known for his work in educational music publishing, Wayne offers Indoor Percussion Shows for all levels of experience through his website at

Text copyright XtremeBrass, LLC. Images by

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

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