H i s t o r y
The Rocky Mountain Percussion Association is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit Colorado based youth organization, that was started in 1991 by a group of percussion instructors, judges and educators who were concerned about the level of percussion training and performance, primarily at the high school level. Steve Yates, Joe Bartko and Ralph Hardimon were the founders of the RMPA and along with Charles Craig formed what is now one of the nation’s premier percussion organizations of its kind. Our main focus is student motivation and educational training through the percussion activity.
The association is the governing body of the indoor percussion activity in the Rocky Mountain region and sponsors a series of indoor percussion events, educational clinics and competitions during the winter and spring months. Our educational clinics are in conjunction with the Percussive Arts Society.
These programs provide a motivational tool that can help turn non-percussionists and a typical drum section into a cohesive and entertaining percussion ensemble. The nation’s top percussion judges adjudicate all of our competitions.
Since the first event was held in 1993, the RMPA has provided competition and training for over 15,000 students, and has become one of the premier percussion organizations of its kind in the country and serves as a national model by which other organizations are administered and managed.
W i n t e r P e r c u s s i o n
The Winter Percussion Activity was organized to provide a program for the many percussion students participating in a typical marching band during the fall season, but not having a comparable performance outlet during the winter and spring seasons. The traditional jazz band, concert band, wind ensemble, etc. does not involve the larger number of percussion students that a marching band requires.
The first units participating in the percussion activity were primarily from scholastic marching units, utilizing both a battery and pit ensemble in a setting that limited the amount of marching and showmanship. Within a few short years, the number of independent organizations participating in the competitions increased, and the performance venue was enlarged to allow for more development of the visual and theatrical potential of the activity. Soon thereafter, traditional “concert” percussion ensembles were included as an additional performance outlet for student percussionists preferring that genre.