By Bobby Reed, Editor of DownBeat

The Percussion Marketing Council held its PMC Members Meeting and Percussion Industry Gathering on Jan. 19 at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel’s Vista Lounge during The NAMM Show.

Among the speakers were the four executive officers of the organization: Brad Smith, vice president MI products at Hal Leonard; Dave Jewell, marketing communications manager, customer sales and marketing group at Yamaha; Stacey Montgomery-Clark, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Sabian; and Karl Dustman, co-executive director at Dustman & Associates.

In his opening remarks, Smith explained the main goal of the PMC: “What are we trying to do at the Percussion Marketing Council? It’s to make more players. That mission statement is pretty simple. So how do we do it? It’s through programs year after year, in the community, in the schools and with retailers.”

Montgomery-Clark reported that the 2016 International Drum Month “Roadie For A Day” campaign was the organization’s most successful contest yet. She also announced that the professional musician who will mentor the winner of the 2017 contest will be Matt Greiner, drummer for the band August Burns Red.

Rich Redmond, who plays drums for country superstar Jason Aldean, discussed his fun, fulfilling experience of mentoring the winner of the 2016 “Roadie For A Day” contest’s Henry Saad, a 12-year old from Raleigh, North Carolina.

PMC executive officers Karl Dustman (left), Stacey Montgomery-Clark, Brad Smith and Dave Jewell pose during a meeting on Jan. 19 at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel during The NAMM Show.

Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation, told PMC members, “We are now working very hard with states across the country to make sure that the gates are wide open for music education to be strong on the community and district level. I encourage you, anywhere you go, to be an ambassador for music education and its benefits. Talk to people about its benefits and make sure that school districts are adequately funding music education, that they include it in their core education budgets, and that they’re including funding for highly qualified teachers [just] like they would for math or reading or social studies or anything else.”

Jewell recounted the successful efforts of the NAMM music lobbying “fly in” to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress. ESSA is a really important bill that was passed, and it will affect everyone in this room,” Jewell said. ÒESSA is [the acronym] for the Every Student Succeeds Act. It will come into play in 2018. For the first time ever, music and arts are called out as stand-alone subjects, as part of what’s called “a well-rounded education” that every child is entitled to. That’s a huge win. That language, “a well-rounded education,” originally came from NAMM, from language that they submitted to Congress. And that is part of a national bill.” He added, “Everybody in this room knows that music makes a person better.”

During The NAMM Show, the PMC also hosted a brainstorming and dialogue session for members on Jan. 22 at the San Simeon Room, located in the Hilton.