The Composers

James Clark

James Martin Clark began drumming in 1963, at nine years of age. He was a snare drummer in the East Hampton (CT) Fife and Drum Corps (1965-1969), the Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes and Drums (1970-1972), the Connecticut Yanks (1973-1976) and the Connecticut Patriots (1979-1981) before helping to organize the Connecticut Valley Field Music in 1988, with which he continues to perform and serves as musical director.

While his formal education in drumming is rather spotty, he has learned from personal contact with Tom Distefano, Dave Smith, Bob Castillo, and Ed Classey. Paul Cormier, Charlie Poole, and Ken Lemley very generously gave of their time in helping him to learn about drumming.

He holds a B.A. degree in History from Central Connecticut State University, an M. A. in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University, an M. A. in Music History and Musicology from the New England Conservatory, and a Ph.D. in Music History and Theory from the University of Connecticut.

Available Books by James Clark: Ten Pieces for Field Drum

Dominick Cuccia

Dominick Cuccia is recognized around the globe as a leader in the art of “not-so-traditional” rudimental drumming. His career began in 1976 with the Young Colonials Fife & Drum Corps from Lake Carmel, New York. He took individual lessons with Gary Gillotti and Mary Saunders utilizing the Sturtze method of drumming. During these early years with the corps, he would also study with Jennifer Gougeon, Paul Moskowitz and Karen Muldoon. In 1981, at the age of 13, he had his first opportunity to teach the corps and by 1984 was running the entire drum line. In high school he was heavily influenced by his band director, Sam Ralabate, and studied percussion privately at The Music Lab with Jeffrey P. Funnell.

Dominick received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Wilkes College (now University) where he studied with Robert A. Nowak and his master’s from Northwestern State University of Louisiana under the tutelage of Ken Green. His family tree of drumming has ties to Les Parks, George Lawrence Stone and Earl Sturtze. Included among the influential teachers he has been fortunate to study with are rudimental great Nick Attanasio, jazz legend Joe Morello, and Hellcat alum Jerry Whitaker.

Dominick has performed in some of the highest profile gigs in the genre of rudimental drumming. He is a veteran of the world-famous Hellcats from West Point, New York (1991-1994). It was here that he marched in the footsteps of legends including Dennis Delucia, Harold Green and John S. Pratt as a featured soloist, composer and arranger for the drum line. Additionally, he was a cast member at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, where he was leader of The Founders of Freedom Fife & Drum Corps. In 1999 he married Therese Rock, his drum corps sweetheart!

Following in the footsteps of the rudimental legends who marched before him, Dominick has built a reputation as one of the "good guys" in the world of drumming. Known by many of his fans as the fife & drum guy, his knowledge as a teacher, musicality as a composer, power as a drummer and entertainment as a clinician, all sit in the shadow of his sincerity and passion about the art of drumming. He is also considered by many to be a trailblazer for fife & drum performers, opening up doors and creating opportunity for the next generation of rudimental drumming stars. Many are now following in his footsteps, taking their drumming to stages never previously available.

Dominick has shared the stage with a diverse group of musicians including Carmine Appice, Nick Attanasio, Steve Fidyk, Richie Gajata-Garcia, Jamey Haddad, The Hellcats, Ben Hans, the Hip Pickles, Brendan Mason, Aldo Mazza, NEXUS, The Old Guard, Steve Primatic, Bob Quaranta, J. Mark Reilly, Marcus Santos, Sophia & Grace, John Wooton, The PAS All-Stars and The Cross Fade Percussion Duo. He is the author of The Beat of a Different Drummer and co-author of The Favorite Solos of Campbell, Cuccia & Pratt (both published by Meredith Music Publications). He is also the composer of the rudimental tribute to Steve Reich titled Contents are Flammable (quintet published by Bachovich Music). Additionally, he appears on two DVDs published by the Percussive Arts Society, recorded patriotic music for ESPN and recorded at the legendary Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Solos from The Beat of a Different Drummer have been included in numerous winning auditions for The Old Guard, The Hellcats and contests around the globe.

Dominick has performed in Canada, Germany & Switzerland, as well as across the United States. He has been featured as both a soloist and ensemble member at The Drum Boogie Festival, Drumming for Veterans, KoSA, The Grooversity Festival, The NYU/NYC Weekend of Percussion, The Boston LegaZy Drum Event (honoring Zildjean), PASIC, USARD Convention, the Yamaha Sounds of Summer and many Days of Percussion. Students who have studied with him come from diverse backgrounds. Jazz drummers, college professors, military musicians, concert percussionists, band directors, drum corps enthusiasts and more have made the pilgrimage to take lessons.

Dominick has spent more than twenty years as an instrumental band director for The Paul Effman Music Service, bringing music education to students in Connecticut and New York. He is the leader of The Great American Fife & Drum Band and plays drum set with The Midnight Anthem. Currently, he is the drum instructor of The Civil War Troopers, The Regulators and the Young Colonials, and is an active teacher, clinician, composer and performer.

Dreaded Drummer Productions is the outlet where Dominick shares music, legend and all that is good in the world of drumming. Long live the spirit of The Dreaded Drummer!

Available Books by Dominick Cuccia: The Bass Drummer

David Oriente

David was born and raised in a musical family in Blue Island, Illinois, began piano lessons at five years old, and branched out into other percussion instruments soon after. As a marching percussionist, he performed in Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International with groups such as Americanos Indoor in 2006, Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007, Pioneer Indoor in 2009, Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in 2009, and Rhythm X in 2010. In 2009, David took 1st place in the Drum Corps International Individual & Ensemble competition with my snare drum solo, “Falcon Punch.” In 2012 he had the unique experience of performing with European X Indoor Percussion Ensemble, based in the Netherlands. He studied percussion performance at Northern Illinois University under Robert Chappell and Dr. Greg Beyer performing with the Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and Husky Marching Band. David also studied percussion performance at the University of Texas at El Paso under Dr. Andrew Smith, where he performed with the Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra and coordinated batterie percussion for the UTEP Marching Miners. As a marching percussion educator, David served as a technician with Legends Drum and Bugle Corps and Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps. He also coordinated batterie percussion for Lake Park High School in Roselle, Illinois, served as a batterie technician for William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio, and coordinated the marching percussion program for Franklin High School in El Paso, Texas.

In 2012, David joined the United States Army and eventually became an Army Musician. Over the course of his career, he has performed across the United States and Europe. In 2018 David became a member of the historic Field Music Group of the United States Military Academy, The Hellcats.

Available Books by David Oriente: Tent City Full Time

David Panzl

The Austrian multi-percussionist David Christopher Panzl was born in Salzburg and began his percussion training at the age of four under the tutelage of Martin Grubinger Sr. He performed his first solo concerto at the age of 13 with the Reichenhall Philharmonic Orchestra. During his school days, he travelled to New York several times to study jazz.

Panzl continued his studies as a concert percussionist with Professor Josef Gumpinger at the Conservatory of Vienna, where he completed his Master of Arts degree with top honours in 2013, studying with Anton Mittermayr. Panzl then studied marimba with Keiko Abe at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo.

As a soloist, David Christopher Panzl has performed at the Suntory Hall Tokyo, the Seoul Art Center, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and at the opening festivities of the Salzburg Music Festival. He has collaborated with exceptional artists such as Keiko Abe, Nebojsa Zivkovic, Jeff Queen, and Nanae Mimura. In addition, he has performed solo concertos with the Nürnberg Symphony Orchestra, Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra, Reichenhall Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphonic Wind Orchestra of Salzburg, the Michinoku Wind Orchestra Japan, and the German Chamber Orchestra Berlin. He has played world premieres by Keiko Abe, Shih, Johannes Motschmann, Jorge Sánchez- Chiong, Enjott Schneider, and J. Peter Koene. He appears with Paraty Records (Harmonia Mundi), Neue Meister (Edel Records Germany), endorses Yamaha, Mike Balter Mallets and Loyal Drums.

David C. Panzl currently teaches concert percussion at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna. He leads master classes worldwide and judges international competitions.

Available Books by David Panzl: Rudimental Short Stories

© 2023 Pulsa Musica. Website by Alexander Nedelkos