Thom Hannum is a truly illustrious individual. 41 years ago, he joined the UMMB alongside George N. Parks and has kept striving and inspiring his students everyday since. He has revolutionized the world of marching percussion throughout this career, from his involvement in the musical Blast! to the publication of his acclaimed textbooks Percussionists Guide to Check Patterns and Champion Concepts for Marching Percussion. As well, he has strong ties in the world of DCI from the Cadets, the Star of Indiana and most recently Carolina Crown. He also holds rank as a member of the DCI Hall of Fame; along with being an honorary member of the Epsilon Nu chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi and the Delta Delta chapter of Tau Beta Sigma and receiving numerous awards for his success including -- most recently -- the Distinguished Service to Music Medal. His unrelenting ambition has been an energizing force for all of his students and those who have had the pleasure of working with him. He teaches us not only to push ourselves as musicians, but also humans. To live our lives with the integrity, passion and discipline that is the cornerstone of his teaching philosophy and what makes him an amazing leader.
As a joint organization we have been profoundly influenced by Thom and grateful of his support of our pursuits and service projects. Therefore, we can think of no better way to show how much we appreciate all he has done for us and this band than with this composition to commemorate his legacy.
His long time friend Professor Jeff Holmes, head of the Jazz and African-American Music Studies area at UMass has graciously agreed to compose this piece for the UMass concert band to debut next spring (Spring 2022). It will be a celebration of Thom’s career and impact, as well as a way to continue his legacy and unify all those he has positively impacted through music.
Finally, we want to hear from you. Send us a short clip or paragraph telling us how Thom has influenced your life or your favorite memory or quote! All of the ones we receive will be compiled together for Thom and the rest of the band alumni to see.
Feel free to share this and thank you all very much for your support in making this commission possible!