12.20.2005 // Meet Craig Dunn, Executive Director of Rhythm X Independent World

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

My name is Craig Dunn and I am the executive director of Rhythm X Independent World. I have been arranging and teaching percussion in central Ohio for 13 years. I am the assistant director of bands at Olentangy Liberty High School and teach first grade in the Olentangy School district. I was born and raised in Westerville, Ohio and marched in the Westerville South High School Marching Band. I have taught percussion at Westerville North High School, Westerville South High School, Fairborn High School, and Olentangy Liberty High School.

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

When I was in the third grade I wanted to play trombone. We went to a marching band concert at Westerville South and my dad pointed out to me that the most graduating seniors were in the drum line. So I took my dads words to heart and decided drumming was for me! I took private lessons from Jeff Hartsough from the third grade through seventh grade. I often wondered if I would ever play drums beyond Jeff's front door. I can never thank him enough for everything he taught me.

3. Where did you play?

I started out marching in Limited Edition from Columbus, Ohio in 1988. It was new corps to Columbus and I was in the eighth grade and wanted to march. I marched fourth bass that year and wow what an experience. I went on marching there in 1989 winning the class A drum trophy under Jim Gault. I also marched in Westerville South's marching band all four years from 1989-1992.

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

I have a Bachelor of Arts in music from the Ohio State University. While studying at OSU, I got to know Mark Reynolds and went to work for him at Westerville North as a bass tech, then he challenged me to teach the front ensemble. After four years at Westerville North I went on to teach at Westerville South for another four years. While at Westerville South I started the indoor line that medaled in scholastic A and open at the WGI World Championships. During this time I was recruited by Rick Brown to become a Drum Corps Mid West judge which led to me becoming a Drum Corps International judge. Upon leaving Westerville South, I decided that I wanted to start an independent world drum line, for the kids that had graduated from Westerville South, and anyone else that was not able to get the indoor experience from their high school. I've learned from many great people on how to be a better teacher and a better judge but most of all I have learned from the kids I have been exposed to through the years.

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

Right now I am starting the fifth season as director of Rhythm X and also overseeing the high school line at Olentangy Liberty High School. Rhythm X is very involving from day to day operations, to ordering new equipment, to making sure we are ready to go each weekend for rehearsal or a show. I am also a first grade teacher in the Olentangy School district.

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

At Rhythm X and at my high school we are using exclusively Dynasty USA keyboards and marching percussion. We also are using Innovative Sticks and Mallets, Sabian Cymbals, and Remo Drum Heads and Ethnic Percussion.

7. What are your loves outside of drumming?

Spending time with my wife, daughter, and son.

8. Are you married?

Yes, my wife's name is Robin.

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

Being able to see Rhythm X take off to where it is today, along with the great rewards of being a father and a husband.

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

like to see every child have the same opportunities in life to be what they want to be.

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

Get any lessons and info from anyone you can and be patient because it takes years of hard work to get what you really want.

12. What is your favorite?

Food - Melting Pot
Drink - Coke
Movie - Road Trip
Drum Line - 1986 Blue Devils

Rhythm X Independent World Drum Line