A John Pratt Retrospective
KEN GREEN is the Associate Director of Bands and Professor of Percussion at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Having received wide recognition as a performer, conductor, educator, and arranger, he is in great demand as a clinician, consultant, and adjudicator. He holds degrees from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, New York, and the University of Kansas. Mr. Green has served as President of the Louisiana Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, and as a member of the Percussive Arts Societies Marching Percussion Committee, Vice President of the International Association of Traditional Drummers, and Principal Timpanist with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra. His principal instructors have been Jim Petercsak, Harold Green, Nick Attanasio, John S. Pratt, Joe Morello, and George Boberg. Ken is proud to be an Artist/Endorsee for Innovative Percussion, Grover Pro Percussion products, and Silver Fox Percussion.
Dennis was the first percussionist inducted into the DCI [Drum Corps International] Hall of Fame (1991) along with the late Fred Sanford.
He was inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame in 2006 and the PAS (Percussive Arts Society) Hall of Fame in 2015, making him the first person to have ever been inducted into all three of the major “percussion/marching arts” Halls.
He has also been honored by his hometown of Bergenfield, NJ, the Sabian Cymbal Company, the New Jersey Drum Corps Hall of Fame and by two of his corps: the Bridgemen from Bayonne, NJ and the Long Island Sunrisers.
Growing up in Bergenfield, Dennis was mentored by the late Dr. Bernard Baggs, Mr. Donald Angelica and Mr. Bobby Thompson.
Upon graduating from Upsala College, he played in the West Point Band’s prestigious “Helicats” for his three-year Army service (1966-1969).
He is best known for his work as designer, arranger and instructor for major drum corps such as the Muchachos, Bridgemen, Star of Indiana, Crossmen, Sunrisers and Caballeros, the Rutgers University Band and many high school bands, including Piscataway HS (NJ) and Bunnell HS (CT.).
In 1981, his drumlines won the Percussion Title in all three classes of drum corps: the Bridgemen (DCI), The Sunrisers (DCA) and Fantasia III (DCI Class A), marking the only “Triple Crown” in in drum corps history.
Dennis has appeared as a commentator/analyst on every DCI broadcast since 1994 on PBS, ESPN, and in movie theaters for Fathom Events.
He was an Associate Professor of Percussion at Rutgers University from 1996-2003.
He has written/contributed to five books and many magazine articles on the art of drumming and/or the state of marching percussion, including Dr. Michael Udow’s “Percussion Pedagogy” for Oxford University Press, 2019.
He has judged band competitions since 1985 and “Indoor” Drumline events every year since 1995, including twenty-one consecutive years judging WGI World Championships.
He has conducted clinics/seminars in 43 states and five foreign countries, has been interviewed by Dom Famularo for TheSessions.org, has emceed videos for PAS, Hudson Music and Drum Guru, and owns/operates DeLucia’s Marching Emporium, Inc. and Drum-Masters.com.
Dennis is an artist/clinician/consultant for Yamaha Drums, Remo Heads, Sabian Cymbals, Malletech e Motion sticks and Row-Loff Publications.
He lives in New Jersey with his wife Rene, Daughter Chelsea and dog Ernie.
Master Sergeant Jeff Prosperie arrived to the West Point Band as a member of the Legendary Hellcats in December of 2006, and has served as both the Section Leader and Principal Drummer of the Percussion Section. He is a World Snare Drum Champion and the only individual to capture the “Triple Crown’ of solo competition (DCI, PAS, DCA). Recently, he was inducted into the 2018 World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Additionally, Jeff is a frequent finalist judge for both DCI and WGI World Championships. Prior to service in the Army, he served as the percussion designer/caption-head for the World Champion Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, Percussion Instructor for the National Drumline Champions at the University of North Texas, Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and Principal Percussion with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Jeff completed his undergraduate work at LSU and continued on at UNT for his Masters and Doctoral work. Jeff is a performing artist endorsed by Pearl/Adams, Sabian, Innovative Percussion, and Evans.
Jeff Michael Prosperie
Jeff grew up in a musical family at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, having heard World Class music regularly from the West Point Band and in NYC. His marching experiences began at age 13 with The Young Colonials Fife and Drum Corps under the instruction of Dominick and Gus Cuccia. Currently, Jeff is a member of The Phantom Regiment snare line and prior to that marched in the snare lines of the Louisiana Stars and Encorps drum and bugle corps. He is a two time National Snare Drum Champion for The United States Association of Rudimental Drummers, a PASIC High School Snare Drum Champion, as well as a two time DCI Snare Drum solo competition runner-up. He currently studies as a freshmen in the percussion studio of Dr. John Wooton at The University of Southern Mississippi. His other interests include drumset, learning about recording techniques, and all things outdoors.
I started my classical instruction at age 3 with Mr. Hugh Robertson, Assistant Principal Percussionist, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York. Through many years of private instruction, and my affiliation with the Eastman School of Music, my percussive talents were utilized by Eastman – and John Beck – for many programs and performances, including the Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra (from age 13), The Eastman Wind Ensemble, Composer’s Symposiums, etc., as percussionist and timpanist. At the same time, I was being instructed in the fine art of Rudimental Drumming with local Drum Corps, making my first performance at age 7. I was fortunate to have both ends of the spectrum….training and performance on all orchestral percussive instruments as well as marching field percussion. My cross training in both disciplines gave me a broad understanding of the very fine points of technique and power, both applied equally as well in both orchestral and field percussion.
My High School years saw me teaching, writing, performing in every aspect of Percussion, as I wrote and arranged for several drum corps throughout the Northeast U.S. and Canada. The war in Vietnam caused me to be a part of the mandatory military Draft, thus, I was drafted into military service in 1968.
Because of my ever-widening musical reputation, I was fortunate to secure an audition with the United States Military Academy Band, West Point, New York, for the renowned “Hellcats” Field Music (rudimental drumming) Detachment, and was immediately accepted there and entered the Army. To my good fortune, I was reunited with John S. Pratt (my drum instructor at 7 years old) as well as several well-known associates in drum corps. In the few months of my 3-year enlistment, I was recommended to hold the position of Percussion Instructor and Arranger for the newly-formed U.S. Army Drum and Bugle Corps, Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
I have continued teaching, arranging, composing and consulting throughout the years. My compositions, both orchestral and rudimental, from solos to full percussion ensembles – Performance Grades 1 through 6 and beyond – have been published by two publishers, Kendor Music (www.kendormusic.com) and by Rhythmic Expressions Percussion (www.reppercussion.myshopify.com).
My extensive background in drum corps and military field percussion has afforded me recognition for Rudimental Drumming, and the experience to relate the techniques required to correctly perform, and to correctly instruct others, in its precision.
I am currently a composer / arranger as well as a clinician, performer and lecturer for “Days of Percussion” as well as Education venues…a past percussion judge for the South Eastern Massachusetts School Bandmasters Association…and currently the Drum Line Instructor – Music Department, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA.
J. “Mark” Reilly is considered by many to be one of the foremost military music connectors in the world. As an internationally recognized performer, speaker, educator, and consultant, Mark’s experience has allowed him to travel the world extensively working at the state and royal level. Mark currently serves as Corps Sergeant Major for the United States Army “Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corps and previously served as Drum Group Leader, Snare Drum Section Leader, and Percussion Arranger for the Corps.
Mark has presented at such prestigious institutions such as the Amsterdam Conservatory, the Royal College of Music, and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria. His collaborative work with the Top Secret Drum Corps, His Majesty’s The King’s Guard of Norway, Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, de la Garde republican and the Pontifical Swiss Guard has given him vast experience in international cultural events.
He holds degrees in Music Education from Northwestern State and Boston Universities, is endorsed by Mapex Drums, Majestic Percussion, REMO, Innovative Percussion, Sabian, Prologix, Loyal Drums, and Büchler Trommelbau and is a adjunct professor at West Virginia University.
About the Session
A John Pratt Retrospective
A retrospective look at the groundbreaking career of PAS Hall of Fame member John S. Pratt. Moderator Ken Green will lead a discussion exploring the historical significance of his compositions and contributions to the percussive arts. Colleagues, former students, and friends from Pratts monumental career, will perform selections and share important details in the life and works of John Pratt.