News

Can We Fuse Modern Music with Traditional Canons?

Can We Fuse Modern Music with Traditional Canons?

Oct 17, 2021

Knowing your community and your students, really can — and should — have an impact on your programming development. Can you add pop to traditional canons? Can you mash up Latino beats with more modern band literature? Listen in to GPG Music CEO and conductor Steve Martin, who has some cool ideas about programming. How are you incorporating modern sounds to keep your students engaged? Share your thoughts on our GPG Music YouTube, LinkedIn or Facebook pages. Subscribe or follow us if you haven’t already!

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The Leading Drill Writing Software Available Through GPG Music

The Leading Drill Writing Software Available Through GPG Music

Oct 13, 2021

As composers and music educators, we know all too well the challenges of being a Marching Band director. Our mission continues to be providing the finest quality in music selection to challenge students, create tools to enhance student musicianship and to simplify the workload for band directors. 

We’re delighted to announce you can purchase Pyware through GPG Music. Pyware 3D is the leader in drill design software out there — a staple for high school and college marching ensembles. Pyware software is used for many major special events such as Super Bowl halftime shows, Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies, more than 90% of all college bowl games, and major parades. In addition, movie filmmakers such as from Drumline and  Broadway choreographers rely on the benefits of the software.

The list of upgrades Pyware 3D has in its latest version really speaks to the product and its commitment to simplifying the work for band directors. The software is fast and flexible for drill writing. 

Pyware 3D Professional Features:

  • View, edit, or print any count of any drill at any time
  • Create transitions by morphing an existing formation
  • Time Track removes the limitation that requires all transitions to begin and end at the same time
  • True Automatic animation is handled behind the scenes as you design
  • Records your every move and then uses that information to automatically create animation in the background
  • Rewrite your drill in seconds

Our executive project manager and designer Aaron Hines works with Pyware 3D and can help you find the product line to meet your needs. Contact us today to learn more or call 800-511-4634 ext. 1.

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Congrats to the first week of Western Band Association competitors!

Congrats to the first week of Western Band Association competitors!

Oct 5, 2021

We’re delighted to be sponsors for the US Bands event season which provides performance experience for nearly 600 ensembles, across more than 100 shows, impacting 50,000 students. Congrats to the students participating in last weekend’s events from Connecticut to New Jersey, Texas to Maryland, and Idaho to Massachusetts, including the first week of the v-USBands, a virtual competition. Congrats to Hamilton West Cavalcade of Bands - DAY for its 46th annual event. 

Also we’re happy to add the Western Band Association to the GPG Music family as competitions we sponsor. Last week was the Mission Viejo Field Show Tournament--looks like everyone had fun. This weekend is the Ayala Music in Motion Tournament, the Irish Guard Invitational and Washington Union Preview of Champions. Best of luck!

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Nurture passionate students with the “spark”

Nurture passionate students with the “spark”

Sep 27, 2021

Recently GPG Music owner and composer Steve Martin listened to renowned band director Paula Crider on the Everything Band podcast (Episode 193). The conversation reminded him how important it is for band directors to look for the students with the “spark,” especially students identifying as women or as people of color. Look for the students like young Paula who are willingly restringing a French Horn, who demonstrate their passion, but need a nudge to take the next step, to go to college, to believe.

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Fanfare-Diane Wyant shares insight on tools leveling up student musicianship

Fanfare-Diane Wyant shares insight on tools leveling up student musicianship

Sep 24, 2021

We recently chatted with Diane Wyant, Director of Bands at Bellarmine College Preparatory, who has worked with GPG Music for nearly a decade and a half. In our conversation Diane shared her great insight about using Our Virtual Ensemble, GPG Music’s platform and curriculum to address virtual Performing Arts education. As a 30-year educator, she  appreciated the tool, and made the most lemonade out of the pandemic lemons, by pushing her students to analyze their performance. OVE helped her students improve through listening back to and how to practice with their recordings. The whole process helped her students level up their musicianship.

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Remembering 9-11

Remembering 9-11

Sep 10, 2021

Sheet MusicAs we reflect on that tragic day 20 years ago, we’re reminded of this piece, composed by Benjamin Boone.  

Here are his thoughts about what went into the piece:

Much of the raw material for this piece was written on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. After becoming saturated with hours and hours of images of the tragedy on the television, I went to my MIDI piano and began to play into my music notation program. I didn't know what else to do - how else to digest the horror that was unfolding. The result was pure rage, anger and profound sadness.

Just prior to that, I had received a California State University Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Award to compose a work incorporating student input. When I discussed with students what I should write about, the overwhelming response was the attack. I met with students on several occasions, soliciting musical ideas and began work. After several trials, I felt my efforts were hollow and overly sentimental.

For the first time, I revisited the music I played on 9-11 and realized that this raw emotional outpouring would be a fitting basis of the work. I then decided that the best way to involve students was to use their voices in the musical texture. As I interviewed them, the students grappled for meaning, for words and for understanding, as many of us do to this day.

The result is a piece that I hope will cause all of us to reflect on 9-11 and its implications for our lives and our country's life. As one student says, "I hope that we will learn from this, that our country will learn from this."

You can experience the entire composition here.

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Congrats to 8 StylePlus Next Designer TV Marching Arts Apparel Competitors

Congrats to 8 StylePlus Next Designer TV Marching Arts Apparel Competitors

Sep 5, 2021

Congratulations to the eight diverse Marching Arts Apparel Designers who competed in the StylePlus Next Designer TV summer competition in collaboration with GPG Music! 

We provided twelve field shows for the GPG Digital Design Studio Challenge. Competitors had to create four pieces each: a band top, a tunic, a unitard and a flag design. In addition to providing the shows, owner and composer Steve Martin served as one of the three judges for the segment, along with StylePlus host Vance Anderson, and Phantom Regiment Drum Corps’ Stephanie Chavez.

The twelve shows were Alcatraz, Babylonia, Blueprint, A Brave New World, Cleopatra, The Coven, Fire and Ice, Macabre, Pathways, Pyramids of Egypt, MYSTery, and Twinkle

“We love the cohesion of using grounded design principles to build a visual look based on the elements of the music,” Martin said. “It’s also important to simplify the challenges for band directors. We enjoyed collaborating with StylePlus Digital Design Studio to provide directors with a comprehensive musical and visual concept and theme.” 

The overall winner of the challenge was Umarin Patamasank who provided the best designs for the Egypt and Mystery shows. Other contestants who placed for their show designs include:

  • Milo Bezuidenhout: Pathways
  • Marissa Brennan: Blueprint
  • Julian Fajardo: Fire & Ice, Twinkle  
  • Lexi Revis: A Brave New World
  • Ethan Sanders: The Coven, Babylonia
  • Allison Wyant: Macabre, Alcatraz

GPG Music will offer 31 pieces of apparel and accessories from the competition for the Fall 2022 season. For a sneak-peek at the winning designs, binge-watch the GPG Digital Design Studio Challenge and compare the apparel designs to the music of each show. Which is your favorite? Look for spring announcements when the winning designs for marching apparel and accessories will be available.  #GPGMusic #StylePlusBand

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7 Tactics for Efficient Drill Education-Still Time to Cover Basic Drill Components

7 Tactics for Efficient Drill Education-Still Time to Cover Basic Drill Components

Aug 30, 2021

Efficient drill learning can be one of the most valuable time-savers during a marching band rehearsal and season. Teaching your students the process of learning drill will make them more independent on the field and allow for faster-paced rehearsals and a higher-level visual product. Take the time with your entire ensemble to go over the basics of drill learning early in the season:

  • How to read a coordinate sheet and/or drill chart 
  • The language you and staff will use during a rehearsal when discussing drill
  • The different markings and measurements that are always present on your rehearsal field (hashes, numbers, inserts, center X, tick marks, even props and tarps)
  • How to set up a coordinate (dot) on the field
  • How to make adjustments to forms, before, after and during reps
  • The desired pace and routine for rehearsals involving drill (i.e quickly resetting, check before you relax, etc). 
  • Teach a routine to the drill learning process (i.e sit down once you have found your set, stand with feet together facing the front to check forms, stay at attention after marching from one set to the next so staff can check the form)

Even if your group doesn’t start learning drill until after band camp, don’t wait to teach drill learning! You can use old drill or write practice drill for your ensemble, so they get the experience of going through the learning process. (You might even be able to get your drill writer to write a couple of practice sets for your group to learn during band camp). 

Teach your students to be more self-sufficient on the marching band field this season and reap the benefits of faster-paced rehearsals!

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A Reflection on DCI and the Magic of Marching Arts

A Reflection on DCI and the Magic of Marching Arts

Aug 23, 2021

A review of the tremendous performances from DCI. Steve Martin shares some insights on the whole program and shouts out a few Drum Corps in particular.

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Band and Musician Safety Preparation

Band and Musician Safety Preparation

Aug 18, 2021

Unfortunately the pandemic is not over. New variants such as Delta continue to disrupt communities, not all of our young students are vaccinated yet and some schools or parents are still cautious about exposure even with vaccination. We’ve figured out how your school can utilize the Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to purchase performance safety gear and equipment for your ensemble and we've made it easy for you to access Musician’s PPE. For those playing brass or wind instruments, we know mask use is the most effective when combined with bell covers and or instrument jackets, which are also available such as Clarinet/Oboe/Bassoon Jackets. Let's keep everyone safe out there!

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