Drum Corps International
Madison Scouts, Boerma celebrate 15 years

Madison Scouts, Boerma celebrate 15 years

by Drum Corps International

From a Madison Scouts press release: In an age of transience, it's rare when great drum corps can count on the creativity and imagination of distinguished composers and arrangers for more than several seasons. That's why the Madison Scouts are taking time this season to celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of brass composer and arranger Scott Boerma. For the past 15 years, Boerma has been responsible for the signature "Madison Sound," popular around the world. Director Sal Salas stated, "No corps has generated the excitement and loyalty that Madison enjoys, and Scott's brilliant writing is a big reason." He added, "There have been many imitations of his work, but no one can match his achievement as a writer, teacher, and mentor." Most drum corps fans would agree that the Madison brass ensemble is instantly recognizable. Boerma's ability to score intriguing textures and unique brass voice combinations make his work popular with serious musicians and rabid drum corps enthusiasts alike. His background gives several clues as to his versatility. Currently director of bands at Eastern Michigan University, Boerma conducts its prestigious wind symphony. In addition, he is responsible for teaching instrumental methods and arranging, as well as the marching band. Previously, he taught for seven years at Novi High School in Michigan, where he was director of bands, teaching computer music theory, composition, and arranging. Prior to that appointment, he taught for five years at Lamphere High School in Michigan, where his band was the state marching champion in 1992. Boerma earned his master's degree in music from the University of Michigan in 1991, where he studied composition with the noted composer and theorist William Bolcom. His bachelor's degree was in music education as well, awarded by Western Michigan University. Graduating in 1986, he studied composition with Ramon Zupko. He is a degree candidate in Michigan State's doctoral program, while studying conducting with John Whitwell. Anyone who has listened to his music will find it no surprise that Boerma is in demand as a composer of works for the concert stage, as well as the marching field. His recent concert band works have been commissioned by the University of Illinois, the University of Dayton, Illinois' New Trier High School and the Kalamazoo Concert Band. Marching music receives his careful touch as well, with universities, high schools, and drum corps, commissioning arrangements and original works for their ensembles. Although best known for his association (since 1989) with the Madison Scouts, Boerma has created his special mixture of depth and entertainment for drum corps from Japan to the UK, from the Netherlands to Thailand. In fact, most Big Ten university marching bands have performed his work. In addition to the Michigan Band, the Michigan State Spartan Band, the University of Texas at Austin (and Arlington), and the University of Illinois, Boerma's arrangements have been performed by Baylor University and Texas Tech. He is a member of the American School Band Directors Association, Phi Mu Alpha- Sinfonia (the professional music fraternity), as well as Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma music fraternities. "I can't imagine my life without the special gift Madison brings to it," said Boerma recently. "It's a true honor to stand in front of them, hearing the guys interpret the music with the confidence and power true to their 66 year heritage." And for 15 years, the Scouts have been happy to return the compliment.