Freelance percussionist Kaylie Brooke joins Dan to discuss her journey through percussion education, how she turned her passion for performance into a job, and the ways different percussion idioms can learn from one another

Read the transcript of the podcast below.

Dan Schack (00:00:09):

This episode of that Dan band show is brought to you by the and new recruiting platform powered by stack sports captain, you is breaking into the band space to offer support. The high school students were looking to perform in band at the collegiate level with over 10 years in the recruiting industry and over 3 million student profiles created over the years, captain new has long been a leader in athlete, advocacy, and support. Now it’s time to provide that same support. The band performance captain. You creates a direct line of communication between musicians and college band directors. With the LinkedIn style profile performers can put their best foot forward, but searchable criteria like your position, academic info and test scores, audition videos, director recommendations, and potential majors. Performers can directly message college directors to learn about scholarship opportunities or university’s academic strengths, and ultimately placed themselves at the right institution. If you are a high school band student looking to perform at the next level, go to captain and creepy free profile today. It takes less than five minutes and will save you time and money. And for a limited time, we’re offering performers 50% off an upgraded profile by using the promo code G D B S 21. That’s right, 50% off and upgrade a profile on cap by using the code T D B S 21 at checkout sign up on captain you gain exposure and get recruited tower by bisects forest,

Dan Schack (00:01:39):

And we are rolling. So it’s really great to meet you. Thanks for getting out here with me.

Kaylie Brooke (00:01:44):

Thanks for having me.

Dan Schack (00:01:45):

This is our first time kinda, kinda connecting, you know, in person, uh, if you will, uh, and just super excited to have you on here. This is, uh, Kaley Brooke with us today. Can you tell us, first of all, where are you coming from? Where are you streaming and hear from? And then I would love just to hear a little bit about, um, your background and what you’ve done kind of up to this point in your life.

Kaylie Brooke (00:02:06):

Yeah, for sure. Oh, right now I am in, uh, Williamsburg, Virginia. Yeah. I just got here about two days ago, like 48 hours ago. Uh, yeah, I’m going to be, um, uh, performing in a show here at Busch gardens. Um, it’s like a Halloween, the embark type show and, um, I’m going to be drumming with some knives, um, German on some, you know, different kind of rigs like drum set type Briggs, um, doing the whole Halloween entertainment thing. So, um, I’m going to start rehearsal for that here in a couple of days.

Dan Schack (00:02:41):

That’s dope and that’s, I’m going to be drumming with knives. So how did you get to the point in your life where you got to drum with knives and get paid? What a perfect loop around

Kaylie Brooke (00:02:52):

That is a great question. Um, well I do a lot of freelancing, I guess. Um, that’s kinda my niche and, um, you a lot of freelancing in the entertainment performance world. Um, yeah, so I didn’t really start out that way. Um, I was classically trained, um, I’m from Texas, I’m from the Dallas area and went to north Texas for my undergrad and I studied, uh, Christian performance there. And then, um, I went on to do my masters in progression performance as well. And I, um, studied with, uh, Dr. Zitter over at Texas a and M commerce. And so performance was definitely, you know, my, my area of focus rather than education. Although I, I mean, you probably know there’s, there’s a lot of juggling, both, um, a lot of the time, which I love, uh, but you know, I, I never wanted education to be, uh, my main bag, I guess. So, yeah. So after the performance route, and, um, that is how I got here to Williamsburg drumming with knives. Um, a lot of, in-between a lot of fun stories in between there and now, but

Dan Schack (00:04:04):

Awesome. And obviously this is, you know, a marching arts oriented podcast the week go in, like I’ve been at a lot of different directions, um, specifically from like a marching standpoint. What are your experiences there?

Kaylie Brooke (00:04:18):

I am from Texas, like I mentioned, and grew up in the marching band scene. Um, I went to LD bell high school, um, what a long time ago, but, uh, very much into marching band there, um, is a great school district, uh, very supportive of fine arts there. Um, so I was definitely involved in marching band from an early age. Um, but yeah, when I, when I went to north Texas, I played a lot of snare drum and the marching band there. And, uh, then I went on to March Vanguard. It was interesting because that was the first time I had ever been part of a front ensemble. So once I got to college, I mean, I had only ever played snare drum in a marching setting. And so when I got to north Texas, um, I really wanted to be in considering myself well-rounded and I wanted to start diving into every area that I could.

Kaylie Brooke (00:05:09):

So, um, I had a bunch of friends that were already, you know, planning on auditioning, um, that year. And so I basically just went with them to a camp and really dove into the front ensemble setting. And that was the first time. Yeah, I had ever been part of a front ensemble group. So yeah, it was a really wild experience. I mean, I think Vanguard in that program speaks for itself. Um, it’s really wonderful people. They’re really great world-class education from, you know, Paul Renick and Sandy and their team. Um, and so that’s, I March one year in 2011 and, uh, that was my, I guess my workout. Uh, I just, I marched that one year and then I inched out. Um, and then after that I, uh, really got into marching percussion in an entertainment setting. And so I started drumming a lot for different, um, like sporting sporting events.

Kaylie Brooke (00:06:09):

So, yeah, so I hooked up with this company called dynamic or them entertainment they’re based in Dallas. And they’re basically, I guess you could consider it like a, for hire a drumline entertainment company. There’s a lot of them now, but, um, did a lot of, uh, stair drumming for, uh, for different teams, like, um, the Dallas Mavericks, uh, the FC Dallas soccer team, um, recently, uh, the San Antonio spurs drumline, um, so bunch of different groups around the Dallas area. So that’s kind of what kept me, um, drumming and, uh, marching setting, um, wearing a snare drum still. I feel like, I don’t know how many years in a row it’s been, but I think I’ve been wearing a snare drum for close to 20 years now in some capacity for 20 years straight. So my back can definitely feel it these days.

Dan Schack (00:07:01):

That is wild that’s, uh, it’s, it’s very interesting. And also, I, I just wanted to say I was in high school and I remember seeing, I I’m pretty sure I want to say out, we would watch LD bell, cause you all were doing the boa thing. And I went to Norwalk high school in Connecticut, but it was like, we need to be like a, I think it was like lasted her high school in Oklahoma. And then it was like LD bell. And now, you know, like I obviously, uh, James Buie and Marcus and Stevenson, there’s so many, there’s so many high schools down there in Texas. It’s different. Yeah.

Kaylie Brooke (00:07:35):

It’s an entirely different animal having, having taught in different areas, you know, not just Texas. Um, but every time I, I go back to Texas, I, yeah, I’m blown away because it’s, it’s just a totally different game there. They really have it figured out. Um, and you know, like I said, a lot of districts are super supportive of the arts and they bring in some really great educators and now there are schools just popping up with really great marching band programs all over the place. It’s not just centralized in the DFW area anymore. Um, I lived in Austin for the past four years and worked quite a bit with James Bowie high school. Um, but you know, it’s right next door to Leander and all of those really successful schools and programs, um, it’s right next to, you know, Westlake high school, which is also really successful. So I mean, and uh, close to San Antonio, which is had, um, you know, a lot of great, uh, programs there. So even since I was in high school, back in the early two thousands, so there’s everywhere you look, there are there’s great education going on, which is really cool.

Dan Schack (00:08:42):

Yeah. I, uh, I was at CrossFit and I taught there in 15 and 16, so that was my, my real introduction to the scene down there. And it was just, it was just completely different because people were sustaining their life, like legit being a percussion director. And it was like, wow, like you really can do like 401k benefits as like a marching arts oriented percussion director at a school. And this, this kind of leads me to think, you know, we, we probably have very different trainings. So like, I, I actually, we competed in 2011, I marched Cavaliers. I was on the snare line that year y’all are always warming up right next to us. Yeah. I don’t know. It’d be us. And then Cavaliers, I can’t be held responsible for that, but yeah, but, uh, so it’s, first of all, it’s really cool because you know, this is such a small world.

Dan Schack (00:09:37):

And even though I’m, you know, I’m, I’m more in like the, the design and education of the marching arts exclusively, and you’re in sort of a performance corner where you’ve taken the marching arts skill and you’re applying them to a lifestyle of, of gigging and performing, which is different, but both sort of gig oriented. But what I kind of wanted to bring up was just, you know, my background, we didn’t have a percussion director, you know, we did like we had fall band and we had like the percussion caption head and the staff once fall band was over, you know, we, we started getting into, to indoor and we have that same sort of staff, but during the day, and really throughout sort of that kind of middle period, anything that wasn’t like actually drum line drum line, there was no percussion educator. Like my band director is a clarinet player.

Dan Schack (00:10:24):

Right. Or he was, um, no individual attention at all. Um, so like my reading skills and like Mela playing skills, no, not, not even close, like I can play snare drums, but I learned plates near drum through the kind of orientation of athleticism and chops, um, being from that area and being, and, and it being very meathead ish. And I always use that word and I like kind of, it’s kind of not derogatory. It was just like chops and speed and athleticism for sure. When I watch you play, like I was just watching some, some of your, um, your solo material or, and I’ve seen your stuff with like the snare drum and the kick drum and things like that. Like, it is so different than how I play, um, and in such a great way. And I think all I’ve done in my adult life since I stopped marching was trying to play softer.

Dan Schack (00:11:20):

That’s all I’ve been trying to do. Um, so I, and I had, like, we were talking before we got on, then I was with Lauren teal a couple of weeks ago. And you know, I’m with Matt Penn all the time. And we have these really cool conversations because like we come from starkly different backgrounds and like something I was thinking, going into this conversation with you was just like, what can we do to open up the conversation and the philosophies between more of a classical or Kestrel chamber percussion background and marching percussion. Cause this is like not something that I think plugs in fully. And I always have felt there’s this tension there, but when I watch you play, it gives me this like a look into what is possible in terms of sort of a hybrid approach. So before I ramble on, cause I’m just like excited about this topic, like, what do you think about this? And have you thought about this and what can we do to spread ideas?

Kaylie Brooke (00:12:18):

That’s a really great, great question. Um, this is actually a conversation I have a lot, um, pretty often with close friends of mine or, um, you know, friends that I make through different gigs or different contracts, um, that I’m doing. But I think it could be a really long-winded answer or there, or there could be. I mean, there’s, no, I don’t think there’s a right a right answer to your question necessarily. But, um, I guess from, from kind of where we’re, I’m sitting in from my background, in my experience, um, a lot of gigs that I have done and this, and I’m really thinking primarily of blasts the tours that I’ve, um, that I’ve done with blast those groups, and those shows require you to have a little bit of everything. And it requires you to, you know, be able to play marching Sandra at a really high level for thousands of people, but also be able to hold it down in the marimba, right.

Kaylie Brooke (00:13:17):

And on different keyboard instruments and be able to play really nice sounding crashes and really nice sounding orchestral snare drum in some moments. Um, now blasts is, is one of a kind, right. It’s really unique. And that’s a very, it’s a very niche thing and it used, you know, used to be on Broadway. Um, so it is considered a Broadway show, but how many other shows can you think of that take, uh, you know, drum Corps background, uh, people and put them on stage and have them be the focal point. Right. You know, there’s, there’s no other shows like that that exists. So, you know, although that’s, that’s only one instance of where I personally have, have needed to have the background that I had, you know, being able to play a little bit of everything. Um, I think, I think there are opportunities for that to exist in more areas than just that show alone.

Kaylie Brooke (00:14:15):

Um, but I will say it’s, it’s really hard to find it’s really hard to find those opportunities. Um, but they’re there. And I think something else that, that I’m thinking about another experience of mine, um, was, uh, another show that I was contracted to do in Japan. This was back in 2018. Um, this was another stage show and it took, you know, musicians and put them on stage, but it also had, um, actors and dancers and singers. So it was a little bit of, um, a little bit of everything, but, uh, the percussion section was, was myself. Um, and then like five other drummers that were from California from the west coast marched, um, RCC. Right. Um, most of them marched blue devils. And then there was me from Texas, you know, not from the west coast at all. Kind of like what you said, um, more of like the, you know, choppy rudimental, Sarah Jim life type of mentality, which I, which I love.

Kaylie Brooke (00:15:14):

And I have a really big respect for it. It just wasn’t my background, my background was completely different, you know, it was try to balance everything and try to be good at all of it. Um, but you know, that came with the sacrifice of my chops. Aren’t going to be as, as good as, you know, some of these guys from the west coast, like I’m just going to have the chops at the same level, um, possibly. So you have to, you have to kind of balance what, what matters more to you and like your, you know, what your background is, but back to that, to that show, um, it could have been a situation where it was really tense, right? Because I have my background and, you know, my own, my philosophies because of my training and who I studied and trained with versus these guys training and their background and what they think is important and their philosophy, whether it comes to, you know, music in general or like from a technique standpoint, right.

Kaylie Brooke (00:16:12):

I mean, very different schools of thought when it comes to technique alone. Right. You know what I’m talking about. Yes. And, but instead of that, we clicked instantly and we, we had something, we had things to learn from each other constantly all the time. So it was a really cool situation because it was the first time I had really encountered, um, you’re a been hired to play and to sound good and to make it work with a group of people that had a completely different background than I did. And it could have been this really tense thing, but we actually learned a lot from each other, like I said, and, you know, I, uh, had them asking me about, you know, mallet specific questions and keyboard specific questions. And I was learning a lot of, a lot of different things on snare drum. Um, you know, just learning why they had the approach they have and learned a lot through that. Um, I got a lot better at syndrome during that gig. And so I feel, I really wish that there were more opportunities like that for more people, you know what I mean? Because it doesn’t need, it doesn’t need to be this my is better than your way. Yeah.

Dan Schack (00:17:23):

Love it. I love everything you’re saying. And, and I, it resonates with me because, you know, I, and you’re going to totally get this. And anyone who has marched drum Corps, especially DCI world-class high level type stuff. Like you would think what one group to the next is doing is like the most outrageously different thing. Vanguard blue devils Bluecoats crown cadets Cavaliers, like from the outside, you’re like, they’re all drum lines. But in when you’re in that, like when I marched Cavaliers, we were like, oh, look out Phantom regiment, 2010 plays what that’s so whack. And then it’s like the cleanest stuff, like ever in history or like one of the best drum lines. But like at the time, it’s just like, because there’s like this competitive thing to it. You’re like, oh, they play like that. And that’s, that’s what, no, we do it like this.

Dan Schack (00:18:15):

And it’s like, first of all, we’re all basically doing nine, 9% of the same stuff. So that’s really silly. Um, and it’s just more of like a taste and style type thing. But like, and I’ve, I’ve told Matt this, like we worked with Matt and I worked with, um, Nick Taylor in 2017 for a short period. And I’ve literally said like, working with Matt has made Crown’s drum line so much better because I just, you know, when we get into like debates, like he’s one of those people like, and I have a lot of friends like this, like when we talk, we kind of like fight. We’re not really fighting, but like, we’re, you know what I mean? Like, yeah. So we’re like have, you know, that kind of interchange and like the way that he teaches and his demeanor, but also what he chooses to talk about.

Dan Schack (00:19:06):

I just took so much of that and I’m not standing in front of the crown drum line saying be like Vanguard. And if you look at those two drum lines, a lot of what they do is so different. But the year that we took a big step forward, like an 18, that was when I started to really move in a certain direction where I would talk more about musical based ideas rather than, uh, objective height systems. For example, this is a big yes. In the in-system because when I was like, literally, and I’ve been like, basically on this for the last week. Cause I think it’s so funny. But like when I came up, I wish I had a stick, but it’s like, you know, three inches is parallel and that’s Metro piano, you know, six inches is this and that’s metal forte. And you start to unwrap that on any level.

Dan Schack (00:20:03):

And it’s like, what is this? What does any of that actually mean? And before I go into a wormhole, I mean, you’re talking about you with the Texas, a very, I’d say a classical Texas background. I think I just made that up. Uh, but you know, you come from the stock up. Yeah. I mean, LD bell and just the, yeah. And, uh, and then going with a bunch of BD guys, the first thing you have to do is we’re attempting to play together and everything else doesn’t matter. It’s like B and I think the perfect, this is like wraps right back to your experience. So perfectly, it’s like our literal job to get paid. We have to sound good right now. I think that a lot of what we do in the marching art space, cause that’s, that’s my main, you know, where I I’ve staked out. I think a lot of what we do is like backwards for that. I just can’t believe it. And I just have just gone in so many directions with this, you know?

Kaylie Brooke (00:20:58):

Yeah. I, I think I know exactly what you’re saying. I, once you age out and, you know, you kind of pick, um, not pick, but you kind of just, you know, start working as a musician or as, um, you know, a freelancer or performer or whatever it is, your paycheck doesn’t care about where you marched. Right. And you’re, you’re getting paid to, uh, you know, for me, like, I, I am getting paid to put on a performance for people, right. People are paying to see us do whatever it is that we’re doing and that show, uh, so it’s kind of less about whose way is the right way or whose way makes more sense and more about what you said, how, how can we put on the best possible product, no matter what our background is. And no matter if we think we’re right, we think they’re wrong.

Kaylie Brooke (00:21:52):

How, how do we play together and how, in my case, like how, how do I make music with these people, um, that are not from my background around me, uh, and perform at a high level, that’s entertaining for people to watch, you know, and that’s, that’s kind of your, your focus, I guess, where your mindset kind of shifts once you are getting paid to do what you do, and that changes a lot. And so, you know, although I really, uh, I’m really thankful for the background that I had. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I mean, I’ve, I’ve had such great experiences and really great educators, um, and have really great educators in my corner, um, that I am constantly learning from. I, I’m still really glad that I am put with people from a different background in a professional setting, because that’s just an opportunity for me to learn more about what I do and how I work. And it just gives me more to pull from, you know what I mean?

Dan Schack (00:22:56):

Absolutely. That that’s, that’s spot on. And, um, I want to go back to something you said about your mindset having to change you go from being a member. You know, I think we all, for the most part and people listening know, um, when you’re marching drum Corps or you’re marching in a college band or indoor or any of these, I mean, you’re a member in your student, you’re, it feels like it’s very much about being on the receiving end of the experience. Um, I don’t necessarily feel that way so much. Like I feel more so, like they’re the engine, the people with the drums on and the people expressing the music, they’re the engine. And then everyone else is a facilitator. I didn’t get taught like that. I had that very much. You’re, you’re receiving information type thing, but, um, I feel a little bit different about that, but you’re talking about the mindset changing.

Dan Schack (00:23:47):

So, um, maybe you could reflect on a, an early gig experience because I think this is very interesting. Not a lot of people are doing this. It’s very hard to be a performing percussionist on any level, whether you’re a drum set player in a Broadway show or your timpanist in a symphony orchestra, or you’re in a, in a military band or whatever, this is not, there’s not a lot of you out there to be honest, I don’t think so. Um, what’s like a formative memory you have of like, I’m not a student anymore. I need to be. And like, is it, you were like messing up a bunch and you’re like, I needed to be more prepared or like, what was that thing that clicked? You’re like, I’m a professional now.

Kaylie Brooke (00:24:27):

That is, that’s a really great question. You know, the, the blast opportunity came around after GRA like almost a year after grad school. Um, you know, I had kind of already been working as a gigging musician or a gigging performer, um, for a number of years at this point. But I do remember, you know, walking into the first rehearsal in Japan for blast. And I felt really prepared, you know, as prepared as I could be with, uh, what I was given. Um, but as soon as I walked in to that first rehearsal, I will never forget. Um, we walked into the theater where we were going to open, um, that tour. And there were, uh, two, two of the creators were in the audience and there was a snare drum in the middle of the stage and no one else there, but me and so I walk in and I was the only new, the new percussionist and the cast.

Kaylie Brooke (00:25:26):

So no one, no one knew me yet. And yeah, uh, not intimidating at all. So, you know, I walk in not really knowing what to expect and, um, they just kind of point to the snare drum and they look at me and they say, well, go on, play, play something. And so I had that, I think it was at that moment where I realized like, holy, I’m doing this to be paid money. You know, um, they are expecting me to know exactly what I’m going to do and they’re expecting me to know exactly what kind of, um, what, I’m, what kind of element I’m adding to the product that they already had, which is really great. So they are expecting that I’m going to be enhancing that, right? Like I’m going to be a positive addition to the show. So I need to, I need to know what I’m doing. And I think that that was, I guess, one of the, one of the memories that sticks out the most to me is that I am no longer a student. And in a sense, I was no longer, you know, trying to, trying to prove myself. Um, and that’s, that’s a whole nother rabbit hole that we can go down being a female percussionist, always feeling the need to prove to prove it.

Dan Schack (00:26:41):

We go, you took the thought out of my mind. Um, it, this is a cross section that I think is very particular for you is one in a professional setting. There are already issues with hierarchies and power and balances on various levels and in various, uh, intersections. Um, and then the marching percussion world. And I’m sure the percussion world as well, it’s very male dominated. So what is there, I mean, did you ever feel like you were dealing with that on any like explicit level? I mean, did you, were you the type of person growing up, you were like, I don’t care about this. I’m going to do my thing. Like what, what was that like? Because I think that is actually another layer too, to this is all, do all it’s their dorms or dudes, or most of them are totally,

Kaylie Brooke (00:27:39):

I, I was really fortunate in that. I, uh, I didn’t really have to go through with so many, um, female identifying, uh, percussionists have to go through when they’re growing up, which is they have a band director that say that says or tells them you’re a girl. So you need to go play this keyboard instrument. You’re a boy. So you’re going to be in the battery. I think we, I think we never had to deal with that. In fact, I had really supportive, uh, band directors, percussion directors, less than teachers. I mean the whole nine yards. Um, I was, I was set up really well. Um, and you know, the more drumming side of things is what is the reason why I wanted to play percussion to begin with. So there was really nothing anyone could have said to me as a kid to deter me from being a snare drummer.

Kaylie Brooke (00:28:25):

I mean, that’s what I started on. That was, you know, that was the thing that interested me at first. Um, and so I didn’t really have to grow up feeling like I needed to prove myself in a sense, but all of that shifted or I guess became a little more apparent. Um, when I started working professionally, um, you know, it existed a bit in school, but, you know, at the university level, everything’s just, you know, everything’s really competitive and it’s a healthy competition, but, um, everyone has to prove themselves, you know, in, in college at least, you know, the schools that I went to. And so I didn’t really, I didn’t really, uh, catch a vibe there, but once I started working, um, I could immediately feel a shift where, you know, walking in, I felt and I experienced, oh, okay, I see what’s going on. I, I have to be twice as prepared to be considered. Um, you know, just as valuable as a person, as the guy on my right or the guy on my left,

Dan Schack (00:29:33):

Are you looking for a high quality apparel made exclusively for the marching arts that Dan band show is brought to you by lot riot apparel flat, right? It was founded by a drunk core alumni with a mission to create the premier peril brand in the marching arts. And he definitely accomplished that goal. There’s no other brand out there, like lot riot, no matter what band event you go to, you will see lot riot clothing being worn by members, fans, and instructors alike. It is literally everywhere, right? Is the brand that bonds, the marching arts community together. They have a passion for band and have a real stake in their customers and the activity with a lot riot you part of a greater whole, a group of friends, the community. I love a lot, right? Because they draw on a minimalistic street, wear aesthetic and use high quality materials to create cool, comfortable clothing.

Dan Schack (00:30:24):

Their brand fits my personal style super well, which is why I am proud to have lot riot as a personal sponsor, as well as a sponsor of this podcast. Lott ride is currently offering listeners of that Dan band show, 15% off all purchases on lot, simply go to lot, and use the code Dan band, one word at checkout, and you will receive 50% off everything you buy, but that’s not all listeners of the podcast. Use the code. Dan band also receive an exclusive lot, Brian that Dan band show, pin and sticker pack for free. So go the lot right now to get 15% off your order and a free sticker and pin pack using the code Dan band at checkout. See you in the lot.

Kaylie Brooke (00:31:14):

I see, I see the game that everyone’s talking about now. And so, yeah, I mean, that’s, I think most, uh, most women can attest to this. Most women doing what we do can attest to this. If you, if you want to be taken seriously, you better show up twice as prepared, um, as the, as the guys next to you. And I think that that is slowly changing for the better, which is great. I love that that change and that shift in mentality is happening. I don’t think it’s happening fast enough. Um, but yeah, I mean that, uh, that is there that we experienced that in every gig we walk into. Yeah. I mean, it’s just, it is what it is. And you can see it as a really thing, or you can see it as a really thing, but also do what you can to work against that and, you know, to try and get rid of that mentality. However you can,

Dan Schack (00:32:06):

I, I’m glad that this is coming up and I’ve heard these conversations kind of going on in various ways on various platforms. Um, I think we are living in a, in a culture of prescribing issues at a very like crust level. And I’ve love where you started that conversation, which is down here at a root of something, all of these symptoms that we see happening. Like I hear about like, uh, a lack of women, DCI drum lines, let’s say that as a sentence or whatever, as an idea that’s out there. And what I say as someone that’s auditioning the students is we only have three women come through the door every year and it’s like, okay. So let’s go down a level at the high school level, at the open class level or at the middle school level, we have to go down and go, why are we telling people what choices to make based on their gender?

Dan Schack (00:33:06):

It’s, it’s harmful for everyone. It’s obviously hard in this space. We’re talking about a complete imbalance and a lack of, um, there’s just a lack of numbers. It’s, it’s less people, right. It’s less. And then therefore people are senior like, oh, that’s a girl drummer. It’s literally like a label. Um, and it goes back to like music ed, and this is what’s crazy. And I want to know what you think about this as like a music educator trying to sway you like that. What is that about? Like, I guess it’s a bigger issue. I’m just like, very confused about like that mindset and it, I guess it’s just goes far further back then maybe we are able to perceive, I’m just confused about that. I guess in general,

Kaylie Brooke (00:33:52):

I am too. And I, you know, I don’t know if I necessarily have the answer one being, um, because I luckily, and fortunately didn’t experience that, but, um, I think you kind of hit the nail on the head. You know, I think it’s an issue when you are auditioning a bunch of a bunch of kids and 2% of them are women, you know, and it’s that it shouldn’t the conversation shouldn’t stop there. It shouldn’t be closed the book. Well, that’s the way it is. And I think that’s how a lot of, a lot of groups and a lot of people on an individual level look at it, but I think you’re right. Like, no, it shouldn’t stop there. We should ask ourselves, well, why is that? Why are there only three women walking into this camp wanting to play, uh, a battery instrument? Right. And, um, I think some of that, at least I’m just speaking from my experience.

Kaylie Brooke (00:34:47):

Um, but some of that is due to being in a position where you are told, or you’re kind of steered away from auditioning, whether it be from, from, uh, you know, teachers or even male colleagues that, that happens too, that happens everywhere. Um, I think women can kind of feel like they don’t belong. There it’s a space where they don’t, they’re not wanted. Right, right. So why would we walk into that space when we don’t feel like we belong there? And, um, that’s not just something that we wake up feeling one day it’s it’s because of the influences that are around us, you know? Um, unfortunately yeah. Some of it goes even, you know, goes back further than that. Um, some, you know, some women aren’t, aren’t even given the time of day when they’re in high school or middle school to be shown like, Hey, here’s how, here’s how you make a really good sound out of a snare drum, you know?

Kaylie Brooke (00:35:48):

Um, here’s how you move your hands on a drum. Some women aren’t even get aren’t even given that opportunity. So you’re right. It goes, it goes back really far. I mean, and it’s, this has been happening since, before you and I’ve been alive, so this has been a problem. Um, but yeah, I think it’s really important for women to see other women doing what they want to do. Right. It’s important for women to see other women who look like them, um, making it happen. Right. And at the end of the day, that’s kind of why I do what I do is because, you know, I, I saw a couple of women doing, um, what I wanted to do one day, which was play drums to entertain people. Um, and so I, I only wonder if I hadn’t seen someone that looked like me doing that. Would I be where I am today? Hoping that, uh, a young girl sees me doing what I do. I think it’s really important for, for women to be a part of the conversation, right. To, to create our own space or to create space for ourselves, uh, to, you know, I guess so younger girls can see that we are here and we can, you know, we are doing this and it’s not just a male, it’s not a male dominated field. It doesn’t have to be, I guess that was kind of long-winded, but hopefully not.

Dan Schack (00:37:10):

I think that’s, I don’t think it was long-winded. And I, I, it sends me in about a million directions, but I, I think like products that people put out, it’s this cyclical thing, like you said, if you don’t see people doing the thing that you want to do, it’s like, you don’t believe you can do it, then you don’t show up and then you don’t do it. It’s like this thing that sort of perpetuates. And even if on the flip side is when you watch a lot of drum lines, again, again, I’m always going to go to like the DCI style, competitive drum line thing. Cause I can speak to this with any, any insight. But when you watch the shows, it’s like this isn’t that appealing to like that many people, like, whether it be various genders, whether it be any, any category, it is all very like there, you know what I mean?

Dan Schack (00:38:02):

And it’s like, you do look across the judging and you look across the design and it’s very homogenous, um, regardless, you know, so it’s like, it’s so tricky to break out of that. Um, you know, like in 2019, I didn’t think about this hard at the time at all. I’m going to admit in 2019, like for, uh, you know, at George Mason, we did like a hip hop rap show, you know? And it was based off of like Frank ocean, who is like a person of color and he’s and it’s based off an album that’s like about exploring and all this stuff. And I’m like, oh, straight white dude. And all I can do is rely on what I like. I mean, that’s an album that like sat with me emotionally to the point that I was like, we need to use this song SIG free to like make our entire show.

Dan Schack (00:38:51):

Um, because it resonated with me. And just that’s I can’t explain why, just like you said, the various things that are kind of like surround us and influence us, but like doing that show and having rap and hip hop and that kind of thing, like it could have gone sideways. I mean, I’ve seen groups do things like that. There was a recent drum where I’m not going to name, drop it. I want to so bad, but there was a recent drum Corps that was doing a show about a women’s empowerment and didn’t have a single female, I guess you could say, or female identifying composer. So like that’s messed up. Like, this is where I’m like, oh my God. Like, I I’m, I’m seeing why this is happening. And like, of course, like there are themes and ideas to be taken from a less masculine place. Let’s not even just say like women, but just like not straight white dude. Like there’s something there’s so much out there, but then like that happens. And it’s just like, we’re doing it wrong. But like you said, it needs to happen faster, but like, look at that. So then it’s like, what in the world? Like someone had to be like stop.

Kaylie Brooke (00:40:02):

Yeah. Right. It just goes to show that we have a long, we have a long way to go. And, you know, on one hand it’s, it can be seen as a positive because there are people trying to, um, I guess break the mold. Um, some, you know, some ideas aren’t really brought to fruition, uh, successfully because they’re, you know, they didn’t dot their I’s and cross their T’s as much as they thought. Um, and that’s, you know, that’s really unfortunate, but you know, you have other groups, um, you know, that are trying to break the mold by incorporating, like you said, incorporating, um, groups of people that you don’t typically, you don’t typically see in a marching setting, um, like Frank ocean, um, you know, African-American, um, person, uh, musician. I think it’s important to, to incorporate as many, as many different types of people as possible because if we don’t, we’re just doing the same thing over and over.

Kaylie Brooke (00:41:10):

We’re creating shows for white people made by white people and then next year we do it again and we do it again, or, you know, shows for white dudes even made by white dudes. And so I think it’s really important for, for people to exist in these spaces that are, you know, kind of slamming the brakes on this, on this endless cycle and saying, what are we doing? You know, who, who’s our target audience? Uh, why are we, why are we making this show? What are we trying to say? And what really matters right now? And so I think, yeah, I think you kind of hit the nail on the head with that

Dan Schack (00:41:50):

Too. There’s a lot of like, um, like didactic programming, like shows that forest lessons down your throat and they really just are, what do we call it a first world problems? I think there’s a lot of that where it’s like, we’re expressing this really obvious and surface level thing. And Ooh, like, it’s just like, not really, it’s not really speaking to people who have real problems all the time, which is what like art and creativity is meant to do is like reach that person in a place where like something else can’t. And like, I think sometimes it’s just like, we need to make sure that judges hear the words. Well, sometimes like there’s emotion behind just like not knowing what the words are. Like, sometimes there’s emotion behind something that’s not, and this is like, uh, like, I don’t know, I can go in so many directions, but like in your, your background is very similar to mine in terms of like the cannon.

Dan Schack (00:42:46):

Let’s talk about that. For example, there’s a musical Canon, that’s like, this is like the quintessential, like Western European. Like this is where like music kind of turned into the next thing in a way. Um, that’s obviously the Western Canon, like I, you know, my undergrad and my masters are both in like English literature, for example. So there’s, there’s a very similar Canon where it’s like, here are, here’s like our post enlightenment, literary, you know, Victorian and Virginia Wolf and modernism turns into turns into, you know, contemporary lit or what have you, the current contemporary, Canon, and outside of that, or all these sub cannons. And it’s very odd because even in the lit the literary space, and I always found this weird, it was like, you know, you have to take African up, you’re taking like modernism and then you’re taking like, African-American lit and you’re taking like post-colonial literature.

Dan Schack (00:43:46):

It’s still very much labeled and siloed as like separated. It’s not like, oh, we’re going to take modernism. And therefore you’re going to be reading things from like Indian postcolonial authors and from like British authors and like African authors, it was still, and this, this really was a point of contention, at least in my experience was just like, we’re kind of doing the thing that we say that we’re not, you know, when we’re in class and in seminar and we’re talking about like fighting the power and stuff, but then like, look at what we kind of are actually doing. And this is kind of, it was always weird for me because it’s just like, if, if we have to label all these things separately, this is the only language we have to talk about it right now. But in doing that, you’re extracting from each other instead of just like, it’s all kind of the same thing.

Dan Schack (00:44:36):

It’s like to know how different are two novels, how different is Vanguard to crown. It’s not that different. I understand like time period itself, but I don’t know what my point is at all. I just feel like it’s a very tricky situation with how to talk about it. I’m glad we are talking about this and that, um, in a way that I think people can get in and look in a way where we’re not just like biting each other’s heads off, um, because Y Y there’s no need to do that, but it’s like, how do we move? How do I want to, I want to move into a direction where it’s just like, let’s just all do the things we want to do.

Kaylie Brooke (00:45:12):

Crazy concept.

Dan Schack (00:45:13):

It’s like pink and blue and like flutes and drum line. It’s like, I CA it’s surprising these things are still around. And yet if we move too fast, you get these blunders, like that drum Corps I was talking about. So it’s like, it’s, it’s really tricky. I don’t know. I don’t really have a question. I’m just, I’m just kind of interested, you know, did you experience that even like in your training and your, in your undergrad and your master’s where you kind of, here’s our, here’s our Canon, here’s our sub genres of, you know, world of music,

Kaylie Brooke (00:45:45):

You know, I guess when I, I think about my time and, um, you know, in school, yes, we, we were required to take, um, you know, different like ethnomusicology classes. Um, but I, I don’t know if I would necessarily say that all of those different, uh, classes were treated as kind of sub cannons. I think at least the schools that I went to, in my opinion, I, I felt did a great job at incorporating, um, all of these different percussion ensembles, whether it be, you know, Afro Cuban or, um, or African ensemble or steel bands, um, gamelan, um, you know, they were incorporated with each other, um, really well in that, you know, when we had concerts, um, you know, all of these groups had had an opportunity to play and all had an equal amount of time to play. Um, and, you know, if you wanted to study, um, that area of percussion more in depth, well, then you could take lessons and study from that, uh, professor that specialized in that.

Kaylie Brooke (00:47:00):

Right. You know? And so I didn’t really see, see that too much as far as, um, you know, at the, at the college level, but I definitely see it in the drum Corps setting for sure. And yeah, you know, I dunno, I met Jen probably, um, or has probably would probably talked a lot about this already, but, you know, with our background, um, you know, marching, he marched, uh, fandom and Vanguard, I’m, you know, me marching, Vanguard. It really just came down to how, how do we convey this music to the best of our abilities and how do we just play this music together and become better musicians because of it, you know? Um, and that’s kind of just what it came down to was, um, you know, giving, uh, members a great experience because we were becoming better musicians and learning how to play and listen at a really high level, um, and, you know, train our ears that are really high level.

Kaylie Brooke (00:48:02):

And we’re also, you know, treated as professionals there. That’s one thing that, that I think stands out with a group like Vanguard, is that all of those folks are treated as professionals. And I think that makes a really big difference in, um, a member experience for sure. And, you know, like I said, I’m sure Matt has kind of talked about that, but yeah, it just came kind of came down to how do we play this music well, and do this music justice and, um, you know, become better musicians at the end of the day and have a great experience because of that. And it was a really positive experience. So I dunno, that’s, that’s kind of how I left, um, drum core feeling is that there was a really positive experience and I was a better musician when I got home.

Dan Schack (00:48:55):

It’s really cool. It’s, it’s so different than how I feel like my training was through DCI. Uh, and I, it was weird because we were talking and I started to think about football uniforms a little bit, because we were kind of like, uh, I I’m always fighting with people about like uniformity. It’s like one of those words that like sneaks into some of the sheets that we have, and there’s a lot hook, a lot to unpack, but I was thinking about like uniformity and like being uniformed and like, just like that feeling like for me sometimes, like, I don’t feel like, like I don’t have a music education background. So sometimes I feel like I’m just coaching. It’s not at all about like, oh, my theory. And my like my ability to explain rhythms and syncopation is so mind blowing this. Like, for me, sometimes I just feel like I’m a coach and it’s like, it’s such a different experience.

Dan Schack (00:49:49):

Like even marching Cavaliers, like I, you not, we marched on the dot and you were not allowed to speak of the form you’re in, you were not allowed to say that the shape you’re making, when I, when I always hear about like how Paul and like, they do it at STV, it’s like this very human experience. We were like alone. You know what I mean? Like it was like you’re alone and you’re marching your dot and every single step, you know, every step size of your show, we would break it down on that level. It’s, it’s, you’re a robot, that’s it. And I feel like my training at cavalier specifically when I got like good, good, like I was in a real good drum. I not like a pseudo good drum line was, it was not about the music sounding like that. I mean, that was a by-product of something else.

Dan Schack (00:50:37):

You know, it was like, play your Heights, perfectly play perfect tempo, March a perfect dot, and you will be clean. And like, I was in like one year in the last 20 years where we won or like the last, you know, one of two years, the last four years, we were like one percussion. But if we didn’t do that well, I’m just going to say it. And I’ve said it before. And I marched Cavaliers, we got like a metal. And then in second and drums, and then we like got a metal in one drums, whatever I have not even tried to talk about that, had we not had that success? All of that I’m talking about would have been like torture. It is not, it is not set you up to have like a warm experience.

Kaylie Brooke (00:51:22):

I, I, I mean, I could see that being, you know, how you would feel when it’s all said and done, for sure. Because you said it, it, it is such a different experience, you know, having marched, um, or having been part of a group, uh, like Vanguard, because everything that we are told and that we talk about, um, is all centered around it, like in a percussion ensemble setting, it’s all centered around the music itself. Right. And it’s, you know, we think more of ourselves as what role am I playing within this musical phrase, right. Like, um, am I the supporting voice, or am I the primary voice? Um, and if I’m not the primary voice, uh, who, who am I lining up with and who am I supposed to be supporting? So, and, you know, there were a lot of times where, um, you know, as, uh, members in the front ensemble, um, we, we were asked, well, what’s, what’s going on, like in the music here in a percussion ensemble setting, you know, um, what’s going on here and where, what part do you play in it?

Kaylie Brooke (00:52:39):

And if that’s not what we were thinking about the entire time, um, we just, we wouldn’t, we wouldn’t have the sound that we had, or we wouldn’t have had the sound that we had, you know what I mean? Because at all times, and I played vibraphone and, you know, different auxiliary, percussion instruments. Um, but as part of my setup too, but never once did I think anything specific to, uh, you know, this certain lick on the vibraphone, it was always, well, I’m playing this, like, because I am the harmony here. And, you know, I’m playing this bass, your note because I’m backing up the snare feature and there’s this accent that they have here that I need to make sure I hit with the bass drum, because that’s going to have more effect to this musical phrase as a whole. And that mindset from what you’re describing is, is really different.

Kaylie Brooke (00:53:30):

Um, yeah. Is yeah. Pull almost polar opposites. Um, so I, you know, I will say there’s no, there’s no right or wrong way, of course, but I will say that that experience set me up to be able to really play and, um, get paid, to do a lot of different things with my musical background. Right. Whether it be getting paid to play in an orchestra setting or in a Broadway type setting with blast or in a nightclub playing Sarah drawn with the DJ, or, you know, doing a show that I’m about to do for a theme park. Um, you know, at the end of the day, I’m, I’m a musician at my core and I, that was enhanced by marching drum Corps, you know, and that makes sense.

Dan Schack (00:54:21):

It does know. And, and to be honest, I probably would not claim that myself. I would not be like, you know, like I’m a musician. I just don’t. Yeah. That that’s not. And I, I kind of went in a different direction. I’ve taught drum lines and I teach and I teach music and I can definitely get drum lines to play well. Um, it’s just so different. And I love what you’re talking about with, um, vibraphone and the role that you’re playing. You’re talking about relationships within a music ensemble, and that, that is always going to be there. Like, I’m not trying to sit here and tell you, like, we didn’t talk about listening or blend or ensemble playing. We absolutely did. We did, but I would say that like tempo and like rhythmic perfection was higher up on our like educational hierarchy than blend and balance.

Dan Schack (00:55:10):

And it was one of those things like, and this is how I was definitely taught. It was like, if we all play exactly the same height and produce the exact same sound at each height, and we all play the exact same rhythm, then when that all is perfect, it’s going to be like really good. Well, that might be true. But how many groups get that far to take that approach and get that clear and that transparent, what you’re describing is a way to get there more immediately. And with less pain, less with less, like with less like arbitrary rules infused in it, it’s like your rule, your job is to play like this dynamic in this moment. This moment requires this dynamic. Um, and this sense of feeling because sometimes in that’s their break, you’re talking about with that bass drum hit, it’s not going to be perfectly chopped up to a quarter note in time they hang things or things have a natural ebb and flow. Your job is not, well, I hit the eighth note, perfectly divided between beats one and two. And that’s, what’s written on the paper. It’s like, no, in this chart with this field, at this part of the show, or in this part of the performance, this is what this is supposed to like, feel like, or how it’s supposed to sit. Why would you ever want to impose a on that? It just makes very little sense as to why you’d want to, like, it has to be like, like this.

Kaylie Brooke (00:56:28):

Sure. Yeah. I know exactly what you’re talking about. And actually that’s kind of the way that I got brought up. Um, when I first started, um, you know, participating in marching band, you know, at the high school level all my teachers were early two thousands Cavaliers. Um,

Dan Schack (00:56:44):

Right. So,

Kaylie Brooke (00:56:45):

Yeah. And so we, you know, we would, you have live in, you know, our mirror room and we would talk about three inches, you know, we would go down the line and you almost where, you know, to where someone would get a ruler out. And it was all about all, about the interest system and yeah. Talk about polar opposites. And then I get to north Texas and I, you know, I get to work with, um, Paul Renick and, you know, some grad students that, you know, help out with the marching band, whatever. Um, and it’s just an entirely different school of thought where it’s, you know, your ears come first and, you know, it’s just important to listen to what sound you’re creating and if you happen to be playing at three inches because you’re playing soft. Cool. Sure. That’s great. But you know, are you playing?

Kaylie Brooke (00:57:35):

Yeah. Are you, are you playing soft? And if you are great, are you playing as soft as everyone around you? Well, if you don’t know, close your eyes, use your ears and just listen, you know, take that, take that parameter, take that, um, I guess take that sense out of the picture so that you can really listen, um, really use your ears. So, yeah, I mean, I, I had a major shift when I got to the college level, just because of my, my upbringing now, I, I don’t think that this is something that I’ve experienced as an educator. I’ve talked a lot about like, you know, my life as a performer, but as an educator and working with different, uh, drum lines and, you know, indoor groups and what have you, not every student necessarily learns the same way. Right? So there have been some times where I have benefited or a student has benefited from, um, using the inch system because that just happened to click with that student more.

Kaylie Brooke (00:58:34):

And, you know, some, some students aren’t ready to listen at that level. They don’t their ears. Aren’t mature enough to understand what that really means yet, you know, whatever we might be talking about. So in some sense, it’s good to have an idea of, you know, different, um, I guess, different educational philosophies, because one way doesn’t work with every student. And so I think it’s, it’s good to be open to the benefits of, um, all different styles of teaching, because you never know when that’s going to come in handy for someone you’re trying to help. You know what I mean?

Dan Schack (00:59:11):

Literally all will come in handy, including the worst, most awful teachers you ever have. That’s the, the reality is like, what you just said is also just spot on like just warm and fuzzy feelings on that, for sure. And then it’s like, I’ve had some like just terrible teachers and like, they have made me so much better as a teacher because I was like, here’s what I will not be doing. I won’t be saying that. Or I just won’t blame kids for what they don’t know. They don’t know what is good or bad. It’s my job to literally tell them when it’s, when it’s right. Uh, so it’s like, I just, there’s so many examples of just like, and like, like again, like I definitely like have had this like different flow ever since aging out where it was like, I want to be like that bad-ass coach who like brings the heat because that I like the groups that play like that.

Dan Schack (01:00:05):

Like, I’m not trying to have an orchestral drum line with that. It’s like thoroughly embedded exclusively in that. And that’s not derogatory at all. That is more of just a hyperbolic way to say it or whatever. But like, I like the athleticism and I like the, um, the visual reality or the, um, you know, the high octane type thing, because that’s, my essence was like, I actually gone to drum line because I wanted to like, look like the way they looked, some were clean, but my favorite drum lines, aren’t the cleanest drum lines. Cavalier is 2002 was the one that was like, got me on the hook. They suck love all you guys. Shout outs, bluey, terrible, not a good year for them. They know it. I know it, we all know it, but like what they, what they did and their style and their aesthetic was like that to me was above the sound I got into this, not because of the music part, but more because like something about the physical part of it resonated with me.

Dan Schack (01:01:06):

I was always into the movement into the chorus, the visual part. So what I do now, and I just love that part of, of drama and percussion. I, and I, and actually more so I have found that there’s so much to pull into drum line from other percussive sources, uh, that aren’t musically related. Um, and just in the way that you can watch a drum set player play and just go look at the way they let themselves just be in the music and express the music visually, that’s been such a huge crux of, of the groups that I work with. Um, and it’s not like play like that drum set player. It’s look at the way that it’s not just the slope, like rigid, like hoops sits there and plays drums and is like a statue like that. So it’s, it’s very weird. I know that’s like our background, but I, I don’t like that necessarily.

Dan Schack (01:02:00):

That’s not how I feel my best when I’m playing or when I’m, I’m watching it. Um, so bef you know what I mean? So, um, a lot, a lot of people listening to this are going to be high school students. And I wanted to ask you as we kind of, you know, round third here or whatever, getting a music degree, getting a master’s. Um, and I know you did drum Corps in 11, which was obviously I would, I’m assuming was during probably your senior year of your undergrad, um, or leading up to, you know, ending that or whatever. But I would love to just hear a little bit about like, what it required for you to succeed in a competitive music program while balancing like marching while bouncing like the other facets of your life. Because I feel like you are doing what a lot of people like wish they could be doing.

Dan Schack (01:02:49):

I mean, I wish I was doing what you’re doing. I love gigging, and I’ve done some gigs too. And it’s like, it’s so much fun. Like, honestly, like I love teaching, but like, there are things about doing the gig thing, right. It’s just me. So like, I don’t have to be nervous cause I, I only have to rely on myself, you know, I get more nervous watching my groups, but, um, I would just love to hear like the time that you put in or your, your regimen and your approach to succeeding in a competitive percussion program, both bachelor’s and master’s level.

Kaylie Brooke (01:03:17):

I graduated in 20, uh, from my undergrad in 2013 and, you know, it feels like a lifetime ago and, um, in a lot of ways, it, it, it was, but I can’t say that the way that I approached my time in college was necessarily like the healthiest, uh, thing, you know, there’s, you know, yeah. You get older and you kind of learn, um, hopefully you start to learn how to, how to balance, um, your, your life in order to be like a, a healthy person. Um, and so, but I will say, you know, at that time when I was in college, um, you know, it at a school like that, it’s you eat, sleep and breathe, um, practicing, right. And like perfecting honing in your craft, um, learning from everyone that you can getting involved in every nook and cranny of everything that’s going on.

Kaylie Brooke (01:04:13):

Um, and in the percussion studio. Um, so yeah, I mean, it was super rigorous and it was super competitive. Um, but it was just kind of, at least for me, in my experience, it was just one of those things where doing anything else, wasn’t an option for me. Um, I didn’t want it to be, and you know, this is something performing as a, as a percussionist is something that I’ve wanted to do my entire life. So, um, I really wasn’t going to accept anything other than, you know, being whatever quote unquote successful means at this. So that definitely helps my mentality of, you know, it, I’m going to succeed at this no matter what it takes, you know, I’m, I’m going to do this. And so I will say that definitely helped, but as I’ve gotten, as I’ve gotten older, I have definitely learned how to, how to balance, you know, my personal and work life a little bit better because that kind of mentality, um, and this kind of lifestyle as a freelance performer, I mean, it’s a grind, you know, and it’s a hustle just like anything else.

Kaylie Brooke (01:05:23):

And so, you know, if you’re not mindful of how to, how to make sure everything is balanced in your life, it can, it can not be very fun. Uh, you know, a lot of the time. Um, but another thing I would say, um, is to be in the room where the conversations are happening, right. There are so many opportunities that I, um, that felt like I stumbled upon, but it really wasn’t, it really wasn’t stumbling or happening upon anything. Um, because I, I forced myself into the conversation or I made sure to meet, you know, certain people or to make those certain connections, uh, because I wanted it to lead to something. Had I not done that? You know, I don’t, I don’t know where I would be now. So I do think it’s really important to be a part of the conversation to make those connections, to meet as many people as you can, because you just, you never know where that, that could lead you.

Kaylie Brooke (01:06:29):

Um, and a lot of gigs that I’ve done is like a true Testament to that statement. Um, and it really is, you know, a lot about who, you know, and, and what areas of the country, you, you know, people, you know, it’s, if you know people in more areas than you, there’s more opportunity there. And I think that is super crucial when it comes to performing, whether it be, um, you know, marching instruments or class, you know, in the classical percussion world, or just as an entertainer who plays a little bit of everything, um, depending on what the gig is, you know, like, um, like I’ve been able to do, I think it’s really important to have as many people in your corner as you can. And not for me, it comes down to, are you easy to work with, and are you a good hang outside of the gig?

Kaylie Brooke (01:07:20):

And are you, you know, are you trying to be a good person, um, along with, you know, your, your skills, that is the foundation of everything, but it’s also everything outside of that. So who are you as a person? Do people like you? And if they don’t well, why and figure that out so that you are someone that people enjoy working with. That’s a big one. Um, yeah, I feel like I could go on and on, but those would, those would be the, the things I think are the most important, just networking, connecting with people and just being, being a good hang while also being good at what you do. You know, it is, you can be both, you can be, uh, uh, genuinely, you know, or, you know, you can strive to be a genuinely good person and everything that you do and also, you know, hold your own too. Does that makes sense?

Dan Schack (01:08:10):

Yeah. We, you know, we’re in a world where, because there’s, I mean, you’re competing with people gigs and we’re competing, you know, groups competing against each other, and we all want the best jobs and the most hope high profile gigs and this and that. So it ends up turning into like you’re on an island. And I think like, really like, yeah, you do have to have your own identity in the space, but also you have to be hireable and you have, you can’t be volatile as a person. So I think that’s right on, I think that is applicable to like any, any industry that people are trying to crack into is like, yeah, you can be confident and you can sometimes be bullheaded. Like, I’m not always like the most like compliant person, but like, I definitely am attending to, um, the energy of, of how things are going, you know, like it doesn’t mean that everyone gets their way.

Dan Schack (01:09:01):

Um, but it means that I’m at least going to hear you out and then disagree after I think about it, you know, not at least from a leadership standpoint. So there’s, there’s much to be gleaned from that. And it’s definitely relate to our conversation before about like the masculinity of drum line. It’s like, well, it’s not just that there’s a, there’s a lot of dimension to what we do. And a lot of like, nuance to what we do and ask for Kacheanus that we can learn from so many different spaces. So, um, Kayley, this was dope as hell. Thank you for getting on here with me. We’re like an hour and 10 minutes. I went super fast, but it was so much fun to have you on. I feel like I just like got my mind blown. So like thanks for jumping on with me today.

Kaylie Brooke (01:09:39):

Yeah. Thank you for having me. It’s really great having discussions like this, um, because you know, you don’t really get to have these types of in-depth discussions every day. We’ll just, you know, the average person that has no idea what you do. And they think, you know, every keyboard instrument is a xylophone. Um, you know, it’s, it’s hard to have these types of discussions with, um, with people that, you know, aren’t really in this field, but I’m glad that you’re doing something like this because hopefully it’s going to provide, um, a lot more insight and to people that don’t do what we do, you know, they kind of get a glimpse of, of what it’s like, um, you know, in this, in this area as musicians and performers and in the, you know, endure drum Corps world, you’re right. It’s really nuanced. There’s a lot to it. It’s really complicated, but also not at the same time. Um, yeah, it’s good stuff. So thanks for having me, uh, be part of this,

Dan Schack (01:10:37):

The chorus. And, uh, can you tell people where to find you like your website and any of your social media handle?

Kaylie Brooke (01:10:44):

Sure. Uh, my Instagram is Kaley birth drums. I believe that I think that’s yeah. Sounds sounds right. Yeah. Instagram,

Dan Schack (01:10:54):

Boom. Well, see, on Instagram people, I know we all live on there, so till next time.

Want to play sports in college?

CaptainU has already connected over 3 million high school athletes and college coaches.