Have you ever wanted to take your marching show in a new direction? How about upside down or sideways? Or better yet, both! The gyroscope and rotating drum racks (RDR) created by Ron Thorpe of 2 Cool Percussion allow any musician to play while spinning quickly inside.
“Clean playing and cool marching will only get you so far,” Thorpe says. “Today you have to do something new and different and really cool.”
The first RDRs created by Thorpe were used by United Percussion (UP), an independent indoor drum line group, in its 2007 WGI show “Xtreme.” These RDRs allowed three of UP’s drummers to play while spinning upside down.
In 2008 for its show “Fusion,” UP used a new gyroscope that spun not only upside down but also sideways, “so that when it rotated, it looked like the molecular symbol for fusion,” says Chad Moore, director of UP.
Tenor player Jeff Bickford performed the show’s finale—a 20-second feature—while spinning inside the gyroscope.
The outer ring of the gyroscope is 8 feet 2 inches, and the machine can be designed to fit anyone, with any instrument. The pneumatic tires make it easy to transport, and the machine collapses to fit through any standard-sized door. For more information, visit www.2coolpercussion.com.
Photo by Jolesch Photography, www.jolesch.com, and courtesy of WGI Sport of the Arts.