Evans Drumheads and Promark by D’Addario are entering a new market—one for pipe band drummers. Collaborating with Stephen Creighton, drum sergeant of the St. Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band in Dublin, Ireland, D’Addario is releasing two new products: the Pipe Band Snare Batter Head and the Stephen Creighton Signature Stick.
Pipe band drums require very high-tension heads to reach a high pitch and cut through the bagpipe sound. “Some of the heads they were using are very fragile, and when they get pushed to a certain tension, they tear in the middle of a performance,” says Sergio Bonsignore, a D’Addario product manager.
The Pipe Band Snare Batter Head features an extremely thin top laminate, which allows it to go up in pitch quickly, and a strong woven fabric to keep the head intact.
Pairing well with this new head is the Stephen Creighton Signature Stick. While most marching bands use drumsticks made from hickory, the Stephen Creighton Signature Stick is made from maple, a much lighter wood, to complement a pipe band’s more high-tension drumhead.
Creighton’s stick is also the first pipe band stick offered with an Active Grip solution. “They won’t have to use grip tape anymore,” Bonsignore says.
D’Addario is also releasing another drumhead: the System Blue Marching Snare Batter, created in collaboration with Scott Johnson of the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps.
This head works for drummers at a wide range of levels. “Though it has that benefit of a softer feel for younger players, we developed this with the 17-time World Champion Blue Devils, so it’s professional quality,” says Kyle Thomas, percussion artist relations manager. “We found a nice middle ground with a product that doesn’t [create] too much fatigue on players’ hands but also has good sound and projection in the marching arena.”