Paul Rennick received his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his Master’s in Performance from the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton. He played snare in the 27th Lancers in 1985-86, has taught The Blue Devils, Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, and was instrumental in UNT winning its unparalleled 14th title in the collegiate division of the Percussive Arts Society Marching Percussion Festival.
DeLucia: When did you start to play drums?
Rennick: I subbed on drum set in my junior high school jazz band, liked it and have played ever since.
DeLucia: Major influences?
Rennick: I didn’t go to college right after high school but rather played gigs three to four nights a week. I learned the fundamentals of everything I know from that period. I developed a love of jazz, idolized Joe Morello with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and John Bonham with Led Zeppelin.
DeLucia: What attracted you to marching percussion?
Rennick: I heard someone play a Scottish snare drum and was totally captivated. Then I heard a corps warming up in the park in Allentown and was amazed!
DeLucia: Rewarding experiences?
Rennick: Teaching groups on both ends of the talent/experience spectrum, from beginners who believe that anything is possible to older, more mature players at UNT and Phantom Regiment. The reward is seeing the light bulb go on in the students’ eyes!
DeLucia: How much marching percussion is too much?
Rennick: If students spend time studying the fundamentals, they can apply them to whatever style they choose. Marching percussion should be one of many things they do.
DeLucia: Any hip tips for students?
Rennick: Follow your ears, and don’t stop until it’s really the way you think it should be.
DeLucia: What is the future of corps?
Rennick: I think there are real issues regarding finances. Well-funded high school groups and indoor drum lines might be more realistic as Drum Corps International corps become more expensive to join.