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Performance Spotlight: U. Southern Mississippi / “D3”


“D3” 2013




There are four segments of the program that include The “Pride of Mississippi” Marching Band with an enrollment of 300 students, the Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Winds and the Concert Band. Each of these organizations, while having its own distinct history, stem from the success of the Marching Band that began in the 1950s with the hiring of Dr. Raymond Mannoni. Dr. Mannoni built the School of Music through the Band Program. His vision provided exposure for the University that was unheard of at the time through establishing close ties with the Senior Bowl in Mobile and the Blue and Gray Game in Montgomery.

These appearances began a long history of attracting students from throughout the United States. While national television viewing is limited in today’s environment, the “Pride of Mississippi” continued its tradition with an appearance at the most televised parade in the world, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

The Percussion Studio at Southern Miss presently consists of twenty undergraduate students and six graduate students. Our philosophy on teaching, is to prepare each student for what they will encounter in life following college. Compared to most college programs we tend to take a more “Practical Approach.” Music education, performance and jazz studies majors are required to pass proficiencies each semester on the major percussion instruments (snare drum, mallet keyboards, timpani and drum set). The proficiencies vary depending the degree plan. As the students study these instruments, they also will be introduced to hand drums, Brazilian percussion instruments, steel drums and much more. What the students practice in the studio is applied in the various percussion ensembles such as the Concert Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, Samba Band, Marimba Ensemble, Salsa Band, wind bands, jazz lab bands, orchestra and various chamber groups. The drum line is also a very important part of the Percussion Studio at Southern Miss. We are always looking for great rudimental players!


For more about the USM Bands including audition information, visit them online at:www.usm.edu/music/bands



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wootonAbout JOHN WOOTON:

Dr. John Wooton is the director of percussion studies at The University of Southern Mississippi. He is well versed in many percussion instruments but has specialized in rudimental snare drum, drum set, marimba, vibraphone and steel pans. Dr. Wooton directs the Percussion Ensemble, Steel Pan Orchestra, Graduate Percussion Ensemble and the Samba Band. He also performs regularly on steel pans as a soloist or with his band, KAISO!, and plays vibes for the USM Jazz Quintet. From 1988 to 1992, he served as percussion coordinator/pep band director for the University of Iowa bands. As an instructor and performer, Dr. Wooton has been associated with five P.A.S.I.C. Marching Percussion Forum champions. He marched snare drum for four years with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps of Rockford, Ill. (1981-84). During those years, Dr. Wooton held the Drum Corps Midwest Individual Snare Drum title and the Percussive Arts Society Snare Drum Individual title. From 1987 to 1989, he served as the percussion caption head for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. For the 1990-91 drum corps seasons, he served as program coordinator/percussion arranger for “Nite Express” Drum and Bugle Corps of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Since joining the faculty at Southern Miss, Dr. Wooton, along with establishing a strong percussion studio, has introduced the USM Steel Band, Pop Percussion Ensemble, Samba Band and Salsa Band. He has served as the president of the Percussion Arts Society, Mississippi Chapter, and is presently a member of the Percussive Arts Society Marching Committee. Dr. Wooton gives clinics around the world representing Pearl Drums, SABIAN Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks., Remo Drum Heads and Row Loff Productions Publications. Dr. Wooton is the author of “The Drummer’s Rudimental Reference Book” – ”Perhaps the most definitive rudimental technique book of our time” – Thomas L. Davis. Wooton’s latest publication, “Dr. Throwdown’s Rudimental Remedies” (The rudimental method for what ails you!) includes 25 lessons, organized on a specific technique and/or rudiment. Accompanying play-along tracks for every exercise and each track is set in seven different tempos starting with “Tempo del Learno” all the way to “Ludicrous Speed.”


Grey Shealy is currently pursuing a Master’s of Percussion degree from the University of Southern Mississippi where he is studying with internationally acclaimed percussionist Dr. John Wooton. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of South Carolina under the guidance of percussion instructor, Dr. Scott Herring. Currently, Grey is the graduate instructor for the Pride of Mississippi Drum Line. From 2010-2012, Grey marched with The Mighty Sound of the Southeast—The University of South Carolina Marching Band as a member of the USC Battery. He has been involved in all areas of percussion within the USC program—Palmetto Pans, Symphonic Bands, Basketball Pep Band, and USC Percussion Ensemble. At the 2012 Percussive Arts Society National Convention, Grey was a member of the featured USC Percussion Ensemble. He marched (2011) with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. from Madison, Wisconsin. Grey has been a featured artist with the Sumter Community Concert Band, Sumter Community Jazz Band, and in 2008 won the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. Grey has been an instructor for several South Carolina high schools: Chapin High School, White Knoll High School, and Sumter High School.

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