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TMEA 2016 – It Was Great To See Everyone!


It’s Hard To Believe…

…this year’s TMEA convention in San Antonio has already come and gone. Like other marching events we attend, TMEA not only gives us an opportunity to show off Tama’s incredible line of marching instruments—it also allows us to speak directly with so many of you we might not meet otherwise. And while we love sharing with you, everything we know about the art of precision marching instrument building, we take even more pleasure in what we learn by talking with all of you.

Catherine Float demos Tama Tuned Percussion.

This Is A Really Exciting Time For TAMA Marching Percussion…

Tama Tuned Percussion Specialist, Catherine Float

…With the addition of our new pedal glock and concert bells at TMEA, and the release of our xylophone and vibraphone at NAMM, TAMA has become a one-stop shop for the absolute best equipment any drum corps or marching band could ever wish for.

If you didn’t see them at TMEA, our new keyboard field frames are sleek and sturdy with a unique TAMA look that incorporates functional yet beautiful curved end-rails that can be used to mount additional accessories. They also serve as ergonomic handgrips, which combined with the frame’s 8-inch no-flat tires, make moving TAMA’s keyboards much, much easier.

Pedal Glock Field Frame.Curved End-rails.8" No-flat Tires.

The TAMA pedal glock frame is, by far, the best on the market. Educators who tried this new addition to the line at TMEA were not only impressed by its warm sound and the absence of any disturbing harmonic crosstalk—they were also universally wowed by its portability. Everyone loved the interchangeability of the accessory hardware, and especially appreciated that the frame of the larger mallet instruments will fit through small, outdated doorways.

As for the actual keyboards: I heard constantly from knowledgeable Educators and players alike that TAMA’s marimba’s are so resonant and clear—they mirror the rich tonality of our vibraphone. Another telling observation made during TMEA was that, time and time again, people mistook our synthetic marimba bars for rosewood! I also heard numerous comments about the absolute impeccable tuning of our vibraphone.

This is why TMEA is so great…you’d probably never experience these realizations by simply checking a website, looking at a catalog, or even hearing an instrument in the context of a performance. You need to get up close and personal with these incredible instruments to fully understand all of their worthwhile advantages.

Booth Visitor test drives the New Tama Marimbas.
Tom Float demonstrates Marching Tenor features.

I’m Always Excited About Our Drum Line…

Tama Percussion Specialist, Tom Float

…but as this was the first time we displayed bells, our pedal glock, xylophone, marimba and vibes, all at the same time, it was really gratifying to see how positive the response was from everyone who visited our booth. The quality of the bells and pedal glock is superb—both in terms of sound and appearance.

A highlight for me was the debut of a new birch/bubinga single tenor and trio accessory tenor in a new matching Deep Purple. These two instruments received a lot of attention as drums that can be added to existing drum line instrumentation.

New Trio Accessory Tenor.
StarLight Birch Drums.

For many, this was the first time to see TAMA’s birch shell, StarLight drums. Having them set up next to our bubinga/birch drums made it easy for people to see and hear the differences, as well as the similarities between these two lines. So many people I demoed the Starlights for were blown away by how much power, warmth and projection they had, but were really amazed at how affordable they are.

Having our full line of brass instruments, drums, and keyboards on hand really made a statement about TAMA’s commitment to marching, which translated into a lot of serious interest from visitors. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, but since returning from TMEA there’s been a steady stream of inquiries from schools—not only interested in TAMA drums—but also in ALL of TAMA’s marching instruments.

Roger Carter explains New Tama Innovations.
Greg Flores and Tama by Kanstul Brass.

When you Strive to Be the Very Best—You Listen and Respond…

Tama by Kanstul Brass Consultant, Greg Flores

…For anyone who visited us at TMEA, it’s clear that the Tama By Kanstul brass team has been paying attention. Over the past year we received several worthy suggestions from both Drum & Bugle Corps Directors and school Band Directors, aimed at making our already-superb Tama By Kanstul brass line even better. In light of your requests, we were excited about introducing these new options:

Beginning in 2016, Tama By Kanstul Marching Baritones will now offer the option of choosing between a Large Shank Orchestral Mouthpiece receiver OR a standard Small Shank Mouthpiece receiver. Also for 2016, Tama By Kanstul is proud to offer school Band Directors the 4/4 Convertible 4 valve Tuba as part of our industry-leading line of Convertible Tubas. Once again, you, the Directors have spoken and the designers/builders of Tama By Kanstul have responded!

Tama by Kanstul on Display.

Much like last year, we had three very busy days at the TAMA booth, and as always it was great to see everyone!

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