PASIC 2008: Austin, Texas
The 2008 Percussive Arts Society International Convention took place from Nov 6-9 in Austin, Texas. As the streets around the convention center in downtown Austin echoed with the cadences of high school and collegiate drumlines, the mood inside the expo was one of cautious optimism about the MI market going forward, in spite of the turbulent economy, which weighed heavily on the minds of consumers, manufacturers, and retailers alike. As one vendor stated, “Hope comes from the idea that in good times and bad, people will continue to play music.” This optimism was not unwarranted, as foot traffic was high and sales relatively strong. In fact, another vendor, a representative from a cymbal manufacturer, mentioned that his company hit their sales target for the entire show in the very first day.
While it was suggested that Texas is such a great market for musical instruments that it might not be representative of the country as a whole, it was nonetheless heartening to witness the excitement and vibrancy of young percussionists swarming the booths and lining up to try products. The PAS director of Media estimates that over 6,500 people were in attendance over the course of the four-day event, making it the third-highest attended show in the 33-year history of PASIC.
In addition to the expo, there were approximately 130 clinics, performances, presentations, and lectures open for attendees. Among the highlights were a master class by University of North Texas professor and jazz great, Ed Soph, and a clinic by the Wackerman brothers – Brooks, Chad, and John – who performed together live for the first time ever.
In a ceremony held Friday, November 8th, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Roy Burns were inducted into the PAS Hall of Fame.
Sabian Lifetime Achievement Awards Gala
On the evening of Thursday, November 6th, Sabian hosted a reception to honor Sabian Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Dame Evelyn Glennie and Roy Burns, who, the following day, were also inducted into the PAS Hall of Fame.
Please refer to the print version of MMR to view more photos from this event.