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George Parks, a standout drum major in high school, began teaching drum majoring when he attended a drum major workshop at West Chester University in 1971. He served for the next two years as a volunteer assistant to Dennis Rhoades in this program. In 1973, after becoming a student at West Chester, Parks was officially hired as a staff member in the program and two years later he was promoted to head clinician.
Although non-drum majors are allowed to attend and work on non-conducting skills, the focus of the academy is to allow for the teaching of the following skills to students: Conducting instruction/evaluation, teaching techniques, and leadership and communication techniques. Reading of George's book, The Dynamic Drum Major is also required for all participants in the drum major section. Non drum major students such as color guard, section leaders, and percussion students also have classes suited just for them. Percussion students may attend the Thomas P. Hannum Mobile Percussion Seminar, which is taught by Thomas Hannum.
By the summer of 2010 the academy was taught at these locations:
- University of Louisiana[disambiguation needed]
- Arizona State University
- University of Alabama
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Stetson University
- University of Arkansas
- Music For All/Bands of America Summer Symposium
- Texas Woman's University
- Liberty Christian Academy
- Kutztown University
- University of North Carolina
- Ohio Wesleyan University
- University of California Riverside
- University of Northern Colorado
- West Chester University (Parks' alma mater)
- Weber State University
- Liberty Christian Academy
- Illinois State University
- University of Massachusetts Amherst (home campus).
As the academy grew, Parks was not able to attend all of the locations each summer. He always attended the sessions at the Academy's home base at the University of Massachusetts. Parks died unexpectedly on September 16, 2010. Parks' wife Jeanne issued a statement implying that the Drum Major Academy would continue after her husband's death.
- Newark Post, UD band director remembers mentor and friend George Parks 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- ^ a b "History". George N. Parks Drum Major Academy. 2005. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- "Curriculum". George N. Parks Drum Major Academy. 2005. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
- "Locations". George N. Parks Drum Major Academy. 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- "Expansion Locations". George N. Parks Drum Major Academy. 2005. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- Masslive.com, George N. Parks, UMass band director, dies after performance in Ohio 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-22.