The UMass Drumline, the percussion section in the UMass Minuteman Marching Band, has been steadily gaining recognition since the early 1980s.
Regarded as one of the very best marching percussion ensembles in the United States, the UMass Drumline and its staff have become respected authorities on percussion arrangement, education, and performance.
The UMass Drumline is led by Ian Hale. Ian received degrees in percussion performance from the University of Calgary and the University of Massachusetts Amherst where his teachers included Dr. Glenn Price, Eduardo Leandro, and DCI Hall of Fame member and past Associate Director Thom Hannum.
Ian was a member of the music faculty at UMass from 2007-2008 and has served as a percussion instructor and clinician ever since. He was the Assistant Director of Bands for the Calgary Stampede Showband from 2009-2011 and has served as Percussion Director for Spirit Winter Percussion from Orleans, Massachusetts since 2012.
Ian has worked with many national and international ensembles including the Calgary Stampede Showband, Spirit of America, Thomas Jefferson High School, Dartmouth Indoor Percussion, United Percussion, Boston University, University of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band.
He was a member of the percussion staff for the Madison Scouts, Carolina Crown, and the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. He is currently on the percussion staff for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps.
Our long-time instructor, Thom Hannum, has long been regarded as one of the nation’s foremost percussion arrangers, instructors, and clinicians having presented numerous seminars and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Thom is well known for his work with the The Cadets and Star of Indiana Drum & Bugle Corps. He was a member of the design team for the Tony Award-winning shows Blast! and CyberJam.
In the summer of 2001, Mr. Hannum was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame. Thom is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society and the current President of the Massachusetts PAS Chapter.
Thom retired from teaching the UMMB after the 2020 season, but remains active in the marching music world.
UMass percussion sponsors
Thom has developed an outstanding percussion program here at UMass where he serves as the Associate Director of the Minuteman Marching Band. He is a product consultant and clinician for the Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company, Evans Drum Heads, the Pearl Corporation, and Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets where he has developed several Signature Series drumsticks and keyboard mallets for marching percussion.
Our staff’s teaching ability, combined with our traditions of hard work and dedication, allow us to produce a quality of performance unmatched by most other collegiate drumlines. We rehearse daily under some of the best percussion names in the business. Our work ethic is a result of their inspiration and drive. Our program is designed to be one of effort, progress, and performance.
For more on the DCI-UMass connection, see DCI’s article, “University of DCI.”
UMass Minuteman Marching Band
The Minuteman Marching Band has long been a source of great pride for the University of Massachusetts and the surrounding region. Under the leadership of George N. Parks, founder of the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy, and assisted by Mr. Hannum, the Minuteman Band has emerged as one of the nation’s outstanding band programs. Each week at home football games, the “Power and Class” performs its traditional Post Game show for thousands of enthusiastic dedicated fans who don’t leave the stadium until the last note.
Over 300 students experience the excitement of college marching band at UMass. The Minuteman Band has performed for Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies in 1981, 1985, and 2001. The UMMB performed at Bands of America Grand Nationals in Indianapolis, IN in 1993, 2001, 2004, and 2007.
In 1998, the Minuteman Marching Band received the most prestigious honor bestowed upon college bands, the Louis C. Sudler Trophy, which is awarded in recognition of “the highest of musical standards and innovative marching routines and ideas, and which has made important contributions to the advancement of the performance standards of college marching bands over a period of several years.”