Sounds of Summer Celebrates 25 Years of Excellence in Percussion Education

9/29/2010 [Marching Instruments]

Percussion Program Has Taught an Estimated 47,000 Students, Including 2,000 Young Percussionists at 42 Camps in 24 States This Year

BUENA PARK, Calif. –Yamaha's Sounds of Summer, the popular national summer percussion camp series, finished its 25th season in glorious fashion. Yamaha coordinated 42 camps this summer, taking place between June 1st and July 29th in 24 states across the country, teaching over 2,000 young percussionists. Each camp featured at least one talented and driven Yamaha Clinician that provided in depth, hands-on instruction during these intensive clinics. An integral part of the continuing education of thousands of percussion students nationwide, this 25th year of clinics cements Sounds of Summer's status as one of the nation's leading summer percussion programs.

Some of the Yamaha clinicians appearing at this year's Sounds of Summer camps included Tom Aungst, Mike McIntosh, Rob Parks, Rob Sanderl, Kirk Gay, and Colin McNutt. These clinicians also wrote new exercises and etudes for the Marching Essentials Book created by Yamaha and given to each student.

Los Alamitos High School was the site of one very special camp this year, sponsored by Nick Rail Music, offering instruction not just to students, but also to local teachers as part of their continuing education. Prominent performer, teacher, composer, and author Jim Campbell presented a day-long session for educators on July 24th at Yamaha's corporate headquarters in Buena Park, California. Currently Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Jim also holds the positions of Principal Percussionist with the Lexington Philharmonic, drummer with the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra, and Past-President of the Percussive Arts Society.

The students attending this camp were taught by Houston-based percussion educator, arranger, and performer Lamar Burkhalter. Lamar currently serves as the Music Director for the NFL's Houston Texans.

"After 25 years, Sounds of Summer has been the premier summer marching percussion program for young percussionists all across the country," said Troy Wollwage, Marketing Manager for Percussion, Yamaha Corporation of America's Band and Orchestral Division. "This is a testament to our many Yamaha music dealers and our artists who are behind the program 100%, and truly lead a grass roots effort to get more young people coming to these camps. There are kids who have been coming to a Sounds of Summer camp for four years or more because they find it useful and love the interaction with our artists."

Sounds of Summer was one of the first programs created by Yamaha after the creation of its Marching and Concert Percussion Department 26 years ago. The program represents long-standing commitment by Yamaha to not only provide young musicians with world-class instruments, but also support for music education. In the last 25 years, it is estimated that over 47,000 students have participated in a Yamaha Sounds of Summer camp.

For more information about Yamaha Corporation of America, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; call (714) 522-9011; e-mail; or visit

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