A Conversation with RALPH HARDIMON, hosted by Neil Larrivee

Welcome to the first of a SEVEN PART series with the legendary Vic Firth signature artist and DCI Hall of Fame member, Ralph Hardimon! In our first installment, Ralph talks about his early years as a child growing up in a musical family and his first teaching & writing experiences in the Anaheim Kingsmen.

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Ralph has participated, instructed and arranged some of the best percussion lines in drum corps history. Starting in the 1960s with the Los Angeles Police Band, Velvet Knights and finally with the Anaheim Kingsmen in the early 1970s, Ralph began to learn what great drumming was all about. After completing his drum corps performing days, he began his teaching and writing career under another legend of the activity, Fred Sanford, at the Santa Clara Vanguard. There Ralph began to understand the greatness of the percussion ensemble and its ability to transform the musical score. Ralph worked with Santa Clara until 1990, when he became the arranger and music coordinator for the Blue Knights. In addition to his innovative arranging, Ralph is also a great teacher and motivator who always has the welfare of the student performer at the top of his priorities.


In this series, Ralph shares some great stories about growing up in a musical family, early experiences marching in Drum Corps and teaching/arranging/composing for the Santa Clara Vanguard. Join us for Ralph’s valuable nuggets of wisdom that will apply to your career, whether you’re a marching member, a young instructor or seasoned veteran!

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  1. We all know that Ralph has – and will continue to – affect so many lives. Please leave us your stories and memories from the past, your favorite shows that Ralph has been part of or how he’s influenced you in the comments below!


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