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Ed Coleman Jr.
Alexander Z.: Who and what is the Presque Isle Percussion Ensemble? How did it come to exist?
    Ed C. Presque Isle Percussion Ensemble (PIPE) was an idea I had a few years back, we had a few practices but nothing really panned out. This past band season I was working with a line that ran an indoor program last year. We decided to merge everything together and run under the PIPE name. We sent Presque Isle Percussion Ensembleletters out to all the band directors in the area and at our open house we had almost 50 students attend. It was our goal not to 'cut' anybody, so we decided to run two ensembles. One open class and the other A class. Everything has been looking up since then.

What is Lake Erie Fanfare and how will PIPE partnering with them help?
    They are a respectable, experienced organization responsible for the promotion of all marching arts from DCI to WGI. Under their supervision is the Lake Erie Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps as well as a winter guard. They own a line of Pearl drums and a brand new Yamaha pit that we are able to use. With that we have use of their truck and bus for basically the cost of fuel.

In a lot of the drum forums there are people still searching for places to march, there are a lot of ensembles still looking for that last member or two, is PIPE set for the season?
    We are still in the market for at least one more battery tech. For member positions we are looking for a few mallet players as well as a synth player.

One production is Miss Saigon the other Phantom of the Opera, what can we expect to see in the show?
    The Miss Saigon show is going to be a very fast paced, emotional show. It will be very cutting edge as well as entertaining, with a little bit of something for everyone. The Saigon numbers are: 7 snares, 3 quads, 5 bass, and 12 in the pit right now.
    The other show is Phantom of the Opera. This will be a very dark and mysterious show that will be sure to catch the crow's attention. The first impact really pushes you back in your seat! The Phantom numbers are: 3 snares, 3 quads, 5 bass, and 6 pit.

In some of the photos on the Presque Isle site there are 6 basses. What happened?

    We had wanted 6 basses for each line, with the understanding that if we lost anybody we would still have 5. Right before the mini camp we did lose one bass player in each line, so now both units have 5 basses each.

In your teaching, has motivation ever been an issue? What can you do to inspire a line, do you just cut the guys who aren't working as hard when compared to the overall line?
    We have been lucky that we have not had to cut anyone yet. I try to teach with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and get the players to feed off of that. I like to be down in front of them, showing by example how I want them to rehearse. If I want them to reset quickly, I run with them. Start the tap off before everyone is set just to keep everybody moving and on their toes. If I think that the line has not been practicing at home, I will make each person play a small chunk by themselves. This gives no place to hide and really works to motivate them to practice at home.

You're father being a drummer, there is always a big argument between drummers over rudiments and their place in music. Drumlines before now playing nothing but rudiments and those player now scolding today's drummers for not focusing on them more. Do you and your father ever agree/disagree on drumming styles and what the focus should be?
    We both understand that times change and things evolve. Spending time with my father's Alumni corps when I was growing up gave me a good taste for traditional, rudimental drumming. I try to write with as much musicality as I can, but I like to use a combination of older and newer styles.

What got you started in drumming at 5?
    My dad gave me a pair of sticks and I just started banging on everything, have not stopped since then. In my neighborhood, growing up we had three different households that had drummers living in them.

Having your family involved in corps and being surrounded by drums and drummers, did that encourage you to also join and drum also or do you 2006 Bucs Snareline think that would have happened even if they were all brilliant scientists?
    It was just normal to me, my parents and all my aunts and uncles marched. I would like to think I would still have found out about it, but it's really hard to say. I was just born into it; it's just about the only thing I really have figured out.

Drumming since the age of 5, teaching drums, marching drums, starting an indoor line, would you say that drumming is only a hobby or more of a career for you?
    Hobby, people pour their heart and souls into hobbies for little to no money. Once you make it a career you tend to either lose interest or just make it all about the money. Presque Isle Percussion is VERY proud to say we have an all volunteer staff.

If you weren't drumming what would you be doing?
    Probably working a 9-5 and own a really nice house and car, but would be bored out of my mind!

Update 2009: I am sad to say that Presque Isle Percussion has ceased operation.


Director - Presque Isle Percussion

Ed Coleman Jr. | Reading Buccaneers | Presque Isle Percussion | LotPatrol.com What's a guy to do after drumming for Lake Erie Regiment, Kiwanis Kavaliers, Empire Statesmen, and Reading Buccaneers? Start an indoor drumline! Edward Coleman Jr. is the Director of the newly formed "Presque Isle Percussion Ensemble" in Pennsylvania. Ed grew up in a drum corps family, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles have all been involved in drum corps. Ed started drumming at the age of 5 and hasn't stopped yet!

This season his indoor percussion ensemble will be performing "Miss Saigon" and "Phantom of the Opera." Yes, you heard correct. Two shows, Two lines. Presque Isle Percussion Ensemble was created with the intention of not turning away any young drummer who wanted to perform and better themselves. With that philosophy in mind Presque Isle will floor two lines, an A Class and Open Class. Drumming isn't only for the elite, at PIPE drumming is for anyone who wants to drum and improve their skills to the Open Class level (elite welcome too)!

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