Flip Out in Unison for eFlip

Flip out in unison for eFlip.

Sadly, it’s time to break up … with your flip chart.

Two entrepreneurs from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tiger Marching Band have started Tonal Innovation, a company trying to change the way marching musicians view their music and drill.

Their product eFlip attaches smartphones to traditional lyres, and the accompanying software Unison digitizes drill and music charts for easy access.

“One day in rehearsal, I was struggling to read a piece of music on a tiny piece of paper,” says Garrett Kessling, founder and CEO of Tonal Innovation. “A friend of mine jokingly was like, ‘Just pinch to zoom and make it bigger,’ and I thought, ‘Well, wait, why can’t we do that?’”

Kessling invited his bandmate Daniel Wendt, who is currently a Tiger Band drum major, to be a business partner and CFO.

eFlip works with any phone or tablet—including cases—between 2.25 inches and 6.5 inches tall. Unison allows bands to share music and drill with updates pushed to everyone when the staff decides to make a change. Students can also make notations and save files to be used in an offline mode.

“[Bands] print out all their music and drill charts; the problem comes when they have to make a change and reprint everything,” Kessling says. “[Unison] saves them tons of time and money.”

The eFlip costs $24.99 for individuals with bulk band discounts available. Unison is currently licensed to bands for $5 per person as an introduction for the first year and will eventually switch to a tiered pricing plan. “Bands should use the technology that the kids already like,” Kessling says. “They love being on their phones and never go without them. Bands need to catch up.”

Visit tonalinnovation.com for more information.


Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled Garrett Kessling’s last name. Halftime Magazine sincerely regrets the error. 

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.

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