Las Vegas Percussion Camp

Pearl Corporation joined forces with percussion instructor Brian Howerton and sponsored the Las Vegas Student Leadership Clinics and Percussion Camp.

“The kids were willing to give up an entire week of their summer to come in and drum for 10 hours a day,” says Howerton, a Pearl Artist. “It makes me feel good to give back to these kids and give them something I never had growing up.”

This is Howerton’s third year running the drum line camp, which he integrated with the previously existing leadership clinics, led by C-D. Young.

“We try to keep both of the camps a little integrated,” Howerton says. “We go over the basics, technique, posture, etc., and work our way up, getting up to par, marching basics, listening responsibilities. I try to go over everything they might need to be a great percussionist. We touch a little on everything, and it keeps them energized about the activity.”

Students from three states and 15 different high schools attended this summer, making it the largest year for the camp.

“[The most important thing we teach] is how to listen and process,” Howerton says. “I make sure they understand what we’re asking them and that they know how to apply it. It can be applied to anything in life, especially percussion.”

Howerton works with the University of Nevada Las Vegas Drumline, the Vegas Vanguard and the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. He hopes to expand the percussion camp even more in the future.

“I hope it gets bigger and better,” he says. “And I hope we get so many kids that I’m forced to break it up into different levels, so the talented players won’t be bored, but we can help beginners as well.”

About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.