Drill Writing

IMG_78222Drill can easily make or break an ensemble. Especially in the Percussive Theater and Field activities because of listening situations that develop because of staging. So many drill writers fall into traps regarding tempo, listening demands, staging or flow. When you know what to look for when formulating a production these traps disappear and you are left with many options for an unhindered visual production.

My style of drill writing is non-transitional. I do not use transitioning sets because it slows down the production’s momentum and causes the audience to lose interest in a very subtle way. Non-transitional styles mean that every set is an arrival and, like musical phrases, the drill needs to go somewhere and arrive after every phrase. This style of drill writing does not mean that it is always fast either. For less advanced groups longer counts and phrases can be utilized to accomplish the non-transitional goals. This still allows the drill to arrive at phrase endings.

Because I come from a percussion background I understand the needs of the drumline staging as well as their capabilities outside of a straight line or arc. The battery needs to be able to control tempo from every point they stand in the drill. This means that wherever the melody exists the battery needs to be positioned accordingly. I tend to sigh when I watch a production and the drumline simply stays connected in a line or an arc the entire show, without interacting with other elements of the ensemble. This is something I will always take to heart, drumlines can explore many more intervals and shaping options that most drill writers put on the page. In doing so, the battery can become much more effective at controlling time for the ensemble in terms of staging properly as separate entities. This kind of forward thinking can open doors for your ensemble that may not have existed before. This is just one example and staging, pacing, contrast, and use of space are all things that will play a dynamic role in your ensembles drill.

Patrick’s drill can be seen across New York State as well as nationally in field circuits and WGI. Patrick has composed drill for several New York State indoor groups and has been highlighted in a few New York State field shows.

 

I write drill for all marching activities, contact me to discuss your drill needs.

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Other marching pages: Show Design, Composition, Drill Writing, Audio Editing, ConsultationPrivate Lessons, and Articles.

 

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