There’s just no way to get that college sound without a drumline—yet it was not a university band but The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps whose percussionists and staff created the spirit and excitement in Disney Pixar’s “Monsters University.”
“The fact that we were going to be writing with Randy Newman—I was extremely excited to even be in the same sentence with this man,” says Scott Johnson, The Blue Devils’ director of percussion. “They enjoyed what I wrote so much that they contacted me and said Randy Newman loved it and wanted me to do more charts. It started out that we were just going to do one song, and we ended up doing six.”
A combination of 15 Blue Devils staff and marching members were paid to make up the drumline that recorded in an all-day session at the Skywalker Ranch. Since the recording, Pixar has hired members of The Blue Devils to perform before and after several press events surrounding the film.
“We got to see how the music fit some of the movie clips,” Johnson says. “I was like a little kid watching it. It was pretty cool.”