Tag Archives: James S. Rickards

Going to the Woodshed Percussion style

I have been trying to find a person to talk about percussion once a month on the network, and it has been difficult to find the right person for the task. We have faith this time in our selection, and we feel that he is the right person for the job. I met Kerian Cox at the LA Drum Show. He is the percussion instructor for James S Rickards High School in Tallahassee, FL, which is also the school that won the event. Kerian also marched for Florida A&M, studying under Florida A&M’s  percussion director, Dr. Shaylor James, and world-renowned drummer Jonathan Davis. I told Kerian about the show, and he handed me his business card – having a business card impressed me almost as much as seeing that he teaches different forms of percussion. Kerian is technically proficient in orchestral, drum set, West-African, World, and melodic percussion.

Currently, Kerian teaches percussion at local schools and gives private lessons, so he is excited for this opportunity to promote his brand and earn some business out here in California. Once he obtains his Bachelors of Arts degree in Music from Florida A&M University in the Fall 2012, his future aspirations are to attend graduate school and receive a master’s and doctoral degree in percussion performance and jazz studies. He wants to share his wisdom of percussion through performing around the world, giving clinics, and ultimately, becoming a collegiate percussion instructor. We hope the experience he gains on The Marching Podcast will help him on his way.

Kerian will be talking percussion on the second Thursday of each month. The brand is “Chop University” which fits in perfect to our network in helping to educate youth and/or the common percussionist. We are also helping him put together a website for his business, so people can check him out online. Welcome Kerian Cox to The Marching Podcast Family!

Here are some awards that Kerian has earned:

  • NAACP Black Achiever in the Music Category – Tallahassee Branch 07’
  • FAMU Best All Around Percussionist- 08’
  • FAMU Wind Ensemble primary timpanist 07’, 08’, 09’, 10’, 11’, 12’
  • Tallahassee Winds Percussion 07’, 08’
  • Big Bend Community Orchestra 07’, 08’, 09’, 10’, 11’
  • FAMU Jazz Ensemble I Drummer – 09’, 10’
  • FAMU Marching “100” Percussion Section Leader – 09’, 10’, 11’
  • James S. Rickards High School drum instructor – 10’, 11’, 12’
  • TutuOla Cultural Performance Collective – 11’
  • Fairview Middle School Before School Beats drum instructor – 11’
  • Tallahassee Nights Live percussionist – 11’ 12’
  • Bethel AME Church drummer – 12’
  • Latin Soul percussionist (timbales) 12’

Subscribe to his YouTube Channel, Chop University, at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/Chopnasty1

Experience from the LA Drum Show

I had a great time, and I met some great people while attending the LA Drum Show! I was really excited about having my own t-shirt and hat to wear to promote The Marching Podcast, and the conversations that I had with people about what I am doing. This was the premier event in the State of California for the show style marching competition, so for me to be able to bring my experiences to this event was great when it came to connecting with some of the people. I touched base with Lolita Carter who was a guest on our show. I met Harold Hutchinson from Inglewood High School, Anthony Ransfer, the director from Compton High School, Manuel Castaneda from Centennial High School, the director Quincy Griffin, and percussion instructor Kerian Cox of the winning school from James S. Rickards in Tallahassee, FL. I also got a chance to speak with some of the sponsors of the event that had booths promoting their products. I met the Co-Founder and current President of The Legacy Roundtable, Ingrid Johnson, who also represents CAAP (California African-American Parents) as well as Curtis Silvers Jr., the area director for the UNCF (United Negro College Fund), and a guy who marched for FAMU that sponsored the FL band to be at the event to compete, Bernard Kinsley, who was also representing Omega Psi Phi. We will be chasing these people down for future interviews on the Choppin’ It Up show.

James S. Rickards from Tallahassee, FL won the show no doubt. Centennial came in second, and Inglewood was third. Rickards brought an intensity that is not recognized here in CA for bands, but it was good for the young CA students to see. I think it was really important for the young students from California to see, when considering marching at the next level. James S. Rickards moved like FAMU. The director and percussion instructor both marched with the 100, so it was no surprise. They had a higher degree of difficulty with their sticking and with their movements. I noticed that most of the schools used gimmick-type of things to get the crowd hyped. The CA drumlines were not familiar with show cadences, so they had kids walking around getting the crowd hyped. Centennial actually had a mascot dance during some of their beats which definitely got the crowd excited. I liked what Centennial did because they also came with a full show with mechanics, but the gimmicks should not have been the common theme amongst the schools.

This was my first media event, and I received a media pass! The location of where the media could sit was not great to see the entire drumline. I moved a couple of times and when I finally found a good spot, I ran out of battery power. I missed James S. Rickards, Inglewood, and Dominguez. I will know in the future to bring extra batteries and have more of a plan of what I will record, and therefore not try to record the entire event. I should have taken more still photos, but I am learning. As I stated earlier, I was really proud to wear my t-shirt and baseball cap at the event and walk around introducing myself and telling people about my business. For a shy person, it helps to have a particular subject to approach people with in order to break the ice and meeting so many good people made the event that much sweeter. I hope to be at the event in 2014, since it takes place every two years. I also hope that The Marching Podcast will be bigger and doing well enough to get an “All Access” pass, so I can interview the celebrity judges. I would have loved to get Sheila E’s, Yo Yo and Mc Lyte’s information, but I could not get on the floor of the event. Now I have something to shoot for in 2014!