10.30.2005 // Dynasty USA interviews Jeremy R. Pratchard, Assistant Director of Bands, U of Arkansas

Dynasty USA is pleased to unveil it's new interview with Jeremy R. Pratchard who is the Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas. Enjoy seeing what is going on down at U of ARK. "We made the switch to Dynasty this season here at the University of Arkansas, and the drums are sounding and performing SWEET. I've never been happier with the quality of my instruments than I am with these drums. The tenor design alone sets Dynasty apart from all other companies, but the snares and basses are definitely above the rest as well. It's easy to get great sound and projection from anywhere on the field with these drums!"

First of all, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am the Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Arkansas, I taught at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas where I served as Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Marching Percussion. As the Director of Marching Percussion, I was responsible for the coordination and instruction of the Marching Percussion section.

My marching percussion arrangements have been performed by several high schools in Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, as well as The University of Oklahoma, Texas Tech University, Central Michigan University, and the University of Arkansas.

I have remained active in percussion performance, serving as a member of the percussion sections of the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Midland/Odessa Symphony Orchestra, and the Texas Tech Faculty Chamber Ensemble. I also played lead steel pan for the Texas Tech University Steel Band "Apocalypso Now", performing at the Percussive Arts Society National Conventions in Orlando and Dallas, and the Texas Music Educators Association conventions in San Antonio.

I have served as a marching band/percussion clinician and adjudicator throughout Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. I am an educational endorser for Pro*Mark drumsticks and mallets.

2. How did drumming become a part of your life?

I started doing the "banging on pots and pans" thing when I was 3. My parents let me start taking lessons when I was 5. I haven't stopped studying percussion since!

3. Where did you play?
I marched snare at the University of Oklahoma in the "Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band."

4. Did you go to school for percussion or how did you become the teacher/clinician that you are?

I got my bachelors in Music Education at the University of Oklahoma, where I studied with Dr. Lance Drege, Kale White, and Glen Buecker. I got my masters in Percussion Performance from Texas Tech University, where I studied with Dr. Lisa Rogers and Alan Shinn. While at Texas Tech, I taught the drumline and began doing clinician and adjudication gigs.

5. What are you doing now and what is involved?

I am the Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Arkansas. I am the drill writer for the marching band and assist in its direction. I direct basketball and volleyball bands, a concert band in the Spring, and both steel drum bands. I also teach applied percussion lessons to undergrad percussion majors.

6. Other than Dynasty USA what other instruments and accessories are you using?

I use ProMark sticks and mallets, and I use steel drums rebuilt and maintained by Darren Dyke of Austin, TX.

7. What are your loves outside of drumming?

I'm an avid runner. I like to train for and race in half marathons as well as 5K's and 10K's. Last Spring, I competed in and finished my first triathlon. I plan on doing more of those next Spring and Summer, as well as racing in three half marathons this Winter and Spring.

8. Are you married?
Yes. I've been married to my wife Lauren for 5 1/2 years.

9. What is your best experience in life so far?

1. Marrying my wife Lauren! 2. Losing 95 (and counting) pounds and becoming the fittest I've ever been.

10. If I could change anything in the world today, I would...

Increase funding for the arts and increase the general public's awareness of music education's importance.

11. What advice do you have for young people today that want to become drummers?

Learn to play accents, taps, and diddles WELL before trying to play all the cool new "hybrid" rudiments. Doing so will allow you to prevent the development of bad habits that will get you in trouble down the road! Also, work to become a well-rounded percussionist, someone who can "do it all" and isn't comfortable doing only one thing.

12. What is your favorite?

Food - Ribeye Steak, medium

Drink - water (I know, it's boring.)

Movie - The Burbs, Christmas Vacation, and Varsity Blues

Drum Line - University of Arkansas and Texas Tech University 1999

University of Arkansas Percussion