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Tom Float RIP

cworrick

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I'm getting reports from my marching band and drum corps friends that Tom Float passed away today.

Anyone familiar with Drum and Bugle Corps drum history will know who he is and what he meant to a lot of drummers.
 

toddbishop

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Ah, damn. When I was in corps the guys were Ralph Hardiman and Tom Float. I was a Hardiman devotee, Float was the competition, his opposite. RIP
 

gmiller598

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Its sad. He was huge in bringing Tama into the marching market in recently years too. I think this was probably some sort of long term illness they kept private for a while.
 

jpalom01

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When I marched in corps he was heading Spirit of Atlanta. They had a different sound and I took note of them - directly due to Tom and his teaching / writing style. Genius.
 

bpaluzzi

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The 1986 Blue Devils drum feature was the first DCI performance that got the hooks DEEP into me. It balanced technicality + groove in a way that few lines (before or since) managed to do. The little 3/4 ride pattern in the middle, the alternating between the modern quads and low-tuned North trios that were brought back from the '76 line (the actual 5-person quad line started the show on the North drums, but then swapped them for Yamaha quads during the second tune. during the drum feature, 5 players from the pit brought the North drums back out).

Tom's finest work, IMO. I can still sing that whole feature from memory.


Drum feature starts around 4:35
 

Pre ‘72

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Oof. He and his wife Catherine managed the college drumline/pit I was in for a year. Changed my entire perspective on what it means to have ‘chops.’

RIP Tom and best wishes to Catherine.
 

flatwins

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The 1986 Blue Devils drum feature was the first DCI performance that got the hooks DEEP into me. It balanced technicality + groove in a way that few lines (before or since) managed to do. The little 3/4 ride pattern in the middle, the alternating between the modern quads and low-tuned North trios that were brought back from the '76 line (the actual 5-person quad line started the show on the North drums, but then swapped them for Yamaha quads during the second tune. during the drum feature, 5 players from the pit brought the North drums back out).

Tom's finest work, IMO. I can still sing that whole feature from memory.


Drum feature starts around 4:35
Without clicking the link (as a memory test to myself), wasn’t ‘86 the year Blue Devils did the Channel One Suite?
 

toddbishop

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The 1986 Blue Devils drum feature was the first DCI performance that got the hooks DEEP into me. It balanced technicality + groove in a way that few lines (before or since) managed to do. The little 3/4 ride pattern in the middle, the alternating between the modern quads and low-tuned North trios that were brought back from the '76 line (the actual 5-person quad line started the show on the North drums, but then swapped them for Yamaha quads during the second tune. during the drum feature, 5 players from the pit brought the North drums back out).

Tom's finest work, IMO. I can still sing that whole feature from memory.


Drum feature starts around 4:35

Saw that show a bunch of times-- they always went on right before or right after us. I think SCV beat them once...

The '82 feature was my favorite-- nothing like twelve snares.
 

bpaluzzi

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Without clicking the link (as a memory test to myself), wasn’t ‘86 the year Blue Devils did the Channel One Suite?
Yup. They did it first in 1976, and won. Then they did it again in 1977 (and won again). Brought it back in 86 (and won), and 2002 (2nd place).

'86 paired it with Maynard Ferguson's "Conquistador" and Chick Corea's "Spanish Fantasy" Suite.
 

Erik

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In the short time I marched DCI, the Blue Devils were "it". I met Tom when I was 14 and marching with the Blue Stars. Two of my good friends marched with Blue Devils and today have been talking about how he changed their lives. Sounds like his reach went far beyond DCI and percussion.
 


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