Premier Percussion

Premier percussion is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year—and after being “absent” from the United States for several years—the company is now returning to the U.S. market through its new importer Marching USA.

According to Mathew Lunsford, dealer relations for Marching USA, British corps brought the Premier sound to the United States during the 1980s. “The company began making marching drums early in its history and continues, to this day, to define the look and sound that others follow,” Lunsford says.

Many educators today are familiar with the Premier sound because they have marched or taught Premier lines over the years. In the early 2000s, Premier U.S.A.—the U.S. branch of the British parent company—was closed and distribution taken over by Musicorps.

Since then, Premier has bounced around with a number of different distributors. As a result, the visibility of Premier in the U.S. market during this time has drastically reduced.

“The company continued to develop innovative drums and accessories and provide their incredible musical instruments to marching groups in more than 70 countries around the world while continuing to look for the right route for a strong return to the U.S. market.” Lunsford says.

Marching USA is now the sole importer of Premier marching, educational and orchestral instruments into North America. The company also distributes a line of field frames and the Aluphone, being used by worldclass groups like Matrix Indoor Percussion Ensemble, the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps and the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps. The Aluphone, a front ensemble instrument, produces sounds normally associated with the vibraphone, the gamelan and the Tibetan singing bowl.

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