Yamaha And Disneyland Announce The Winner Of The 'Celebrate Your Music' Interactive Contest

2/2/2009 [Corporate]

Stony Brook University Student Mark Carman Wins First Place; Popular Online Contest Showcased Talent and Passion of Yamaha Users

BUENA PARK, Calif. — Yamaha Corporation of America recently named Mark Carman, of Levittown, NY, the winner of the Celebrate Your Music Contest.

Celebrate Your Music Contest Winner
Percussionist Mark Carman wins the interactive contest.
Launched in September 2008, the contest sought the best performance of Disney's® "it's a small world" theme song. Contestants had the opportunity to upload their performances online through Yamaha's popular multimedia website, The Hub (www.yamaha.com/thehub.) The press conference announcing the winner and debuting the winning video was held on January 16, 2009 at Winter NAMM 2009 in Anaheim, Calif.

Carman, a senior at Stony Brook University majoring in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, won the grand prize of a two-night stay at a California's Disneyland® Resort and a $750 credit towards any Yamaha instrument or product. His winning entry traced the history of competitive marching snare drumming in three movements. The first movement featured a tribute to the post-WWII era when percussionists began evolving popular marches and standards for use on the field in competition. Movement two was a tribute to the latter part of the twentieth century, where the use of Kevlar heads and high tension marching percussion instruments became popular. The third movement displayed more recent developments in marching percussion, including more a complex rhythmic style, reflecting the contemporary musical styles being presented by drum & bugle corps and indoor percussion ensembles.

"The contest submissions presented a fascinating range of interpretations of 'it's a small world,'" noted Rick Young, Senior Vice President, Yamaha Corporation of America. "At the final tally, our winner received the highest score by excelling in the area of creativity, garnering perfect scores from our judges. We congratulate Mark Carman on his creative take on this classic."

The entries were judged by a diverse panel of Yamaha and Disney officials. Artist judges included Chip Greene, a Yamaha-endorsed singer and songwriter whose compositions have been featured on MTV; Noriko Olling, a Los Angeles based vocalist and keyboard artist; Russian-born singer/songwriter Marina V; and Clarence McDonald, a legendary keyboardist whose career spans over 40 years. Contest entrants had access to an array of downloadable materials including sheet music, exclusive arrangements, DJ background tracks and other supplies to enhance their performance.

Rick Young, Senior Vice President, Yamaha Corporation of America
Rick Young, Senior Vice President, Yamaha Corporation of America, announces the winner at press conference at the Winter 2009 NAMM Show.
"When the contest first came to my attention, I thought that it would be an interesting challenge to take such a well-known piece, and re-orchestrate it to feature the snare drum," said Carman. "I knew that I wanted to relate it to drum corps and the marching activity somehow. As 'Small World for Snare Drum in Three Movements' developed, I saw it as a great opportunity to showcase the history and development of the very idiom that has played such an integral role in shaping me as both a musician, and as a young adult."

Carman's experience in drum corps began in 2006 with The Cadets of NYC (DCI Division III) from Brooklyn, NY. In 2007, he served as the center snare and drum captain for The Jersey Surf (DCI Division II,), and helped lead the corps to its first high percussion trophy, as well as the silver medal at finals. Additionally, he is currently the Percussion Caption Head and Co-Arranger for the Roslyn High School Competitive Marching Band and also the snare tech for the four-time World Champion Connecticut Hurricanes (DCA.)

"The notification that I had won the judges' pick came as a real surprise," states Carman. "I'm just glad that I was able to take a truly deep appreciation of the marching activity, and share it with others. I already have friends and colleagues telling me that their own kids have actually found my video to be really inspiring! Win or lose, that was at the very least what I had hoped to accomplish in the first place."

Planning for the Celebrate Your Music Contest began in the middle of 2008 and coincided with Disney's 2009 'Celebrations' year promotion, which invites guests to turn their personal milestones into magical Disney experiences.

"With the huge successes that we saw in the previous marketing collaborations with Yamaha and with their industry-leading web video presence, we knew from the start that we needed to leverage video and multimedia in a big way," said Anthony Bonfiglio, Manager of Alliance Marketing at The Disneyland Resort. "This contest met all of our key goals including providing visibility for The Hub and the Disneyland 'Celebrate' message, exploring 'viral' video marketing techniques and our chief objective of celebrating the joy that music making brings to people of all ages."

To view the winning entries for the contest, visit www.yamaha.com/thehub. For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail bandandorchestra@yamaha.com; visit www.yamaha.com/band.

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