MARCHING perspective:
Cymbal Selection in the Front Ensemble with Rob Ferguson

The unique sounds of a drum corps, marching band or indoor percussion ensemble can be drastically altered by the multitude of percussive sounds that are available to the front ensemble arranger and instructor. From the dark, massive wash of simultaneous cymbal and gong rolls to the shimmering ethereal sounds of a thin splash, the color palette is virtually limitless.

Rob Ferguson, Percussion Arranger & Caption Head of the Phantom Regiment discusses his perspective for se- lecting the Zildjian instruments that make up the 2021 show, “Harmonic Journey.”



Rob Ferguson is currently the Percussion Arranger and Percussion Caption Coordinator for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois. In addition to his role with Phantom Regiment, Rob is also the Director of Matrix Performing Arts from Akron, Ohio which includes two WGI indoor percussion ensembles; Matrix World and Matrix Open. Rob also serves as the Music Designer for Matrix Open and as the Design Coordinator and Music Designer for Matrix World and has since its inception in 1999.

Rob served as the Percussion Coordinator and Percussion Arranger for the Glassman Drum and Bugle Corps from Toledo, Ohio, from 2008-2012 and as the Percussion Arranger for the Hawthorne Caballeros Drum and Bugle corps from 2012-2015. Rob previously served as a percussion representative for the Mideast Performance Association and currently serves as the Percussion Education Director for the Ohio Indoor Performance Association, as well as as a member of the WGI Percussion Advisory Board.

Rob holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Music in Music Performance from Kent State University where he studied with Michael Burritt and Ted Rounds. He previously served as adjunct percussion faculty and assistant marching band director at Youngstown State University, and currently is the Design Coordinator for Firestone High School and Norton High School bands in Northeast Ohio, as well as John Hersey HighSchool from Illinois, and Moon Area High School in Pennsylvania.

Rob is an active clinician and adjudicator for both the indoor and outdoor marching activities. He has presented clinics on marching percussion, keyboard percussion, arranging, and amplification in the marching activity throughout the U.S. and in Europe including the 2007 PAS convention, the 2008 Indoor Percussion Europe Championships, and as apart of the 2016 Chiayi City International Band Festival in Chiayi City, Taiwan. Ferguson has also performed as a marimba clinician and guest artist with numerous high schools and college percussion ensembles.

In addition to teaching, Rob works professionally as a designer, composer, program coordinator, and consultant for outdoor and indoor marching ensembles throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is the owner of Ferguson Design Solutions, a company providing custom arrangements, original compositions for both marching ensemble and concert percussion, consulting, and design resources for marching bands, drum corps, and indoor percussion ensembles in all major arenas of the pageantry arts. Rob is also a sales representative for Field & Floor FX. Currently residing in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Rob is an endorser and clinician for Mapex & Majestic Percussion, Innovative Percussion, the Avedis Zildjian Co., Planet Waves, Pageantry Innovations, and Remo Inc.

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