BOA Drum Major Institute introduces faculty member: Michael J. West
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BOA Drum Major Institute introduces faculty member: Michael J. West

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Today's guest post is from Michael J. West who will be on the Bands of America Drum Major Institute faculty at the Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha. Thanks for giving us a look at what you will be teaching at camp this June, Michael!  
 
 
This summer, I will be joining the staff at the Bands of America Drum Major Institute to teach mace technique. I recently graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a master's degree in music education and have been spinning mace for the past nine years. I was a drum major at Carl Sandburg H.S., IL for two years and a drum major for the Marching Illini at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana for two years. 
MaceMarchingIllini
Because of tradition with the Marching Illini Drum Majors, I spent a great deal of time with my mace during those two years. The Marching Illini pregame show, a traditional "Big Ten Conference" production, has been the same since the 1970's. Serving as a central role to that legacy and being able to spin the mace routines that have been passed down to only a few select people each year was a great honor and a wonderful memory. Performing for tens of thousands of fans at Memorial Stadium every fall was a thrill like no other. 
 
MaceVarietyShowBeing able to collaborate with colleagues skilled in this area has been a great deal of fun as well. I have been able to work with a lot of gifted people including past Illini drum majors and other talented individuals from other universities. One of the most fulfilling mace experiences I have had is taking the mace off the field and onto the stage. This past fall I programed and produced a variety show of sorts, which included performing a mace routine to spliced music. It allowed me to explore the more creative side of the mace. Performing this choreography was one of the more expressive opportunities I had. 
 
At the Bands of America Drum Major Institute, I want to teach and refine the basic mace fundamentals. However, we will not limit ourselves to just the basics. It is important that those fundamentals are strong, but I also believe in giving students the tools to create something on their own. I want them to take those ideas, return home, and turn it into something that matches the values of their music program and their individual style. 
 
Looking foward to seeing everyone this summer!
 
-Mike West
 
 
Michael J. West
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 
Former Drum Major Marching Illini
 
 
Have you enrolled in the Bands of America Drum Major Institute yet? Don't wait any longer, enroll today!
Need more reasons to enroll? Check out the amazing BOA Drum Major Institute faculty, camp videos on YouTube, read Student Testimonials, and check out the Symposium coverage from 2012!
 
 
Erin Fortune

Erin Fortune is the Director of Sponsorships at Music for All and has been working with Music for All since 2010, first in the Participant Relations department, followed by the marketing department as Marketing Manager, and is now in advancement. She is a graduate of the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

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