12.09.2005 // Dynasty USA welcomes Shane Gwaltney, Indoor Percussion Guru and Choctawhatchee High School Caption Head!

Dynasty USA would like to welcome Shane Gwaltney to the Dynasty USA family. Shane brings an excellent heritage of indoor percussion excellence with his work with Choctawhatchee High School in Scholastic World and with Music City Mystique in Independent World along with many other groups too many to name here.
Shane has submitted answers to the now famous Dynasty USA interview page. As always it is interesting to read about what makes some of the best minds in brass and percussion work. I hope that you enjoy Shane's interview and that you all join us in welcoming Shane into the Dynasty USA family.

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

I am from Lexington, Kentucky. After moving several times because of my parents work, we ended up in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. I moved to Fort Walton Beach, Florida about 5 years ago to work at Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach.

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

In high school (Mt. Juliet) my instructor Paul Waters who marched Cadets 88' and 89' just came off of tour before my freshman year in 89' to do auditions. Needless to say I didn't make a drum and was going to end up in the pit slapping some brass. I was obviously upset with my lack of talent and wanted to quit. Paul found me leaving and wanted to talk about the situation. He assured me that things would get better. I then made a decision to quit baseball, karate, boyscouts and everything else that got in the way of band practice. I have seen Paul since then and thanked him for his talk.

3. Where did you play?

I marched at Mt. Juliet H.S., Middle Tennessee State University, Music City Mystique and a street performing group called "Street Beats."

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

I marched Mystique for the first 5 years of its existence at the time when everything was new. While Don Click and the staff were trying to figure out how they wanted to do things in this fresh activity, I listened closely. I was intrigued by the "almost anything goes" atmosphere that we were able to design and compete in. And most importantly, it wasn't marching band! After I aged out from MCM the opportunity to teach was there and I took it. Since we teach for free, there was no one else lined up! So I won by default and the rest is history.

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

I am currently the Battery Arranger and Visual Designer for Music City Mystique. I live in Fort Walton Beach, Florida and I teach the schools in the surrounding county. I have to travel a lot because of MCM being in Nashville and the 12 other groups I am involved with during the WGI season. I will also be involved with Memphis Sound Drum Corps this upcoming summer.

6. Other than Dynasty USA what other instruments and accessories are you using?
At MCM we use Pearl and Adams equipment. At Choctawhatchee we use Dynasty drums and Adams in the front ensemble. I also use Innovative Percussion products.

7. What are your loves outside of drumming?

I really like to drive. It is my time alone away from kids. I love playing X-Box.

8. Are you married?


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

When I was in Nashville and played in Street Beats. We were bucket drummers that had a 45 minute choreographed set that was entertaining. We traveled a lot and performed on the street for 6 years. We also played at Pasic, Modern Drummer Music Festival in New Jersey, and several times at Mardi Gras. Overall it was a unique experience that I would never get in a gym or on a football field.

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

I would change something I have control over. I would have marched drum corps.

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

Get as many different experiences as you can. The worst thing to have is one way of doing things. Be consistent with whatever you do.

12. What is your favorite?

Food - desert
Drink - sweet tea
Movie - Usual Suspects
Drum Line - Blue Devils 94'

Shane Gwaltney Artist Page