Marty HurleyMarty HurleyAn original composition by Michael Eagle, A Salute to Marty Hurley is an advanced work originally written for Scottish Drum Corps. It was premiered at the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, IN by an all-star collective of Scottish and American Drummers called The Ruff Drags.

A Salute to Marty Hurley, published by Bachovich Music Publishing, is a ‘fusion drumming’ piece in that it requires that all the performers have a firm knowledge of both American and Scottish snare, tenor and bass drumming. The composition is written so that it can be performed by either a Scottish Drum Corps, solo snare drum, or Percussion Chamber Ensemble (min. 4 players). The work is dedicated to the late, great American drumming icon, Mr. Marty Hurley, whose sudden passing in the Fall of 2011 revealed to the composer, the many compositional and educational influences that were a result of Marty Hurley.

Here's what percussionist and composer, Michael Eagle, had to say about the composition:

The opening “Nola Shuffle” is meant to put the contemporary Scottish Drumming vocabulary in a different sort of swing other than the normal Scottish Pipe Band application or even straight-ahead jazz. The ‘Cajun’ or ‘Dixieland’ music of New Orleans, Louisiana is a perfect musical fit for the dot-and-cut nature of Scottish drumming. Appropriately, this is also the area from which Mr. Hurley lived and taught the majority of his great career. The tenor drums act as a progressive and punchy upright bass or tuba line while the snares and rudimental bass provide the energy and excitement of a street-side brass band with abounding virtuosity. The next segment is a hi-hop based groove to provide musical contrast while showcasing the unique ‘tap-buzz‘ figures common in Scottish snare drumming, underneath an American visual flair. The next four small segments of music are musical quotes from selected Marty Hurley “Phantom” works either directly quoted or adapted for the Scottish drummer. The final two segments feature more compelling figures from the snares utilizing the unique Scottish Drag rudiment while the ending is an American blast from the 70s and 80s (Mr. Hurley’s prime years of teaching DCI) as all the players engage in a ‘Phrenzy’ of blazing fast sixlet-based back-sticking patterns ensuring entertainment for all. This Salute will dazzle audiences of any drumming preference, help educate both American and Scottish drummers alike in these diverse and now fused styles, and further the influences of Mr. Marty Hurley.

The Ruff Drags

The Ruff Drags is a collective of professional percussionists, musicians and people who have combined to perform unique works of Fusion Drumming for all audiences. Their rudimental drumming influences include Scottish, contemporary American, military American, orchestral, Breton Bagad and Swiss. The team of drummers is assembled and lead by music designer Michael Eagle, a percussionist and champion drummer from New York, NY. As featured performers for the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, IN, this marked only the fourth time in PASIC history that the Scottish pipe band idiom was represented. The group was promptly featured in The Voice pipe band magazine as the cover story for the Fall 2011 issue. In January 2012, they were invited to perform on arguably the most prestigious Scottish stage in North America, Winter Storm in Kansas City, MO. The members of The Ruff Drags have performed together in similar capacities since 2007 and bring a wealth of achievements in drumming which include:

25 Solo Snare Drum Championships in various national and international events
24 Winter Storm Championships
49 North American Championships
53 Appearances at the Scottish World Championships
13 Scottish World Championships
12 DCI Finals Performances
1 DCI World Championship
3 DCI I&E Championships
22 PASIC Performances
9 PASIC Championships
3 Breton World Championships

The Ruff Drags dedicate themselves to the simple joy of music and it’s most basic purposes: to entertain, to communicate and to unite.

Winter Storm

Held in The Country Club Plaza of Kansas City, MO, Winter Storm has become the most prestigious Scottish pipe band event in North America. Since 2001, MHAF (the Midwest Highland Arts Fund) has organized all of the world-class workshops, classes, concerts and competitions offered. For drummers specifically, staff members have included a veritable 'who's who' in pipe band drumming such as snare drummers Jim Kilpatrick, Reid Maxwell, John Fisher, Steve Creighton, Barry Wilson, John Scullion and Doug Stronach; tenor drummers Tyler Fry and Norman 'Haggis' MacLeoud; and bass drummers Craig 'Hoss' Colquhoun and Duncan Gibson. Drumming competitions range from beginner to professional grade classes for all three instruments. The grand prize winner in the 2012 Gold Medal Open Snare Drum competition took home a brand new Scottish snare drum of choice, $750 cash, and $1500 in air fair to compete in the Scottish World Championship Snare Drum competition in Glasgow, Scotland in October of 2012.

The event, which is typically held around Martin Luther King Day weekend in January, begins with solo competitions for all instruments on the Friday. All day Saturday and Sunday, there are dozens of different classes and workshops for all participants taught by a world-class faculty of approximately 20 of the very best bagpipers and drummers in the world. On Saturday night, there is a formal concert featuring all the faculty and other special guests followed by a ceilidh (kay-lee), or after-party dubbed 'Winter Steam.' This is a very spirited gathering of all participants socializing and playing the night away. If any drummer of any ilk were to participate in just one Scottish pipe band event a year, this would be the one.

Watch the 2012 Winter Storm performance of A Salute to Marty Hurley.

Please visit for more information Winter Storm and the Midwest Highland Arts Fund.

Marty HurleyMartin E. Hurley
June 6, 1946 – September 12, 2011