Asst. band director to take reins of new pep band for basketball games


Trumbore specializes in percussion instruments including drums and mallets (above).

School spirit is the heart of colleges and universities, and with programs like the marching band, Shippensburg University will never lose that school spirit. 

And now, SU’s basketball games are about to get revved up with the addition of the SU pep band. 

Aaron Trumbore started his new position as assistant director of bands this year, although he is not new to SU. Trumbore has been working with the program for seven years, as a leader of SU’s 10-day band camp. 

Trumbore has always had a passion for music. He learned the piano at an early age, before moving to percussion instruments like the drums in 10th grade. From there he got involved in marching band, then more individual professional marching bands like Drum Corps International (DCI). 

He eventually aged out of marching band, and went to West Chester University at the age of 23 to receive his bachelor’s degree in music performance, and then received his master’s degree in music performance from Temple University. 

Trumbore worked at a high school in Philadelphia and later decided to take the job at SU. He was familiar with the area and wanted a change of pace. Now, Trumbore is in charge of SU’s newly-founded pep band because President Laurie Carter, who has a background in music from The Juilliard School, requested that there be one. 

“She wanted to see more involvement to that end of the music department, and since she’s gotten here she’s been extremely supportive of the music and arts things that Ship has to offer,” Trumbore said.

Carter also sent members of the marching band, who would be joining the pep band, to a Clarion University football game to play in the beginning of the fall semester. 

Trumbore will lead the pep band in its first performance on Dec. 1. 

The pep band is a smaller ensemble than the marching band, with only 30 members , as opposed to the 172 students involved in marching band. 

It will consist of standard songs, but also pop music arrangements that Trumbore is working on. The pep band will perform at both the men and women’s basketball games back-to-back on Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoons. 

Trumbore hopes that the pep band continues to carry on the tradition of school spirit that SU’s music activities have throughout the years.

Trumbore sees the marching band as the centerpiece of school spirit and pride at SU. “It has such a deep tradition, that Trever [Famulare] has done such a great job building up in his 17 years here, to be able to continue that and carry that on and have the pep band on the same level as the marching band.”

In addition to his new position, Trumbore is also the owner of the company Artifact Percussion. His company makes handmade drum sticks and mallets for percussionists like Trumbore himself. 

“We sell all over the world. We are a direct-to-consumer only, and we do all our manufacturing,” Trumbore said. 

He and his team work out of a small shop and started the company about five years ago, back in 2013. Through the years, Artifact Percussions has made about $50,000 in sales and is on track to almost double those earnings this year. 

Because of the rapid growth of their company, Trumbore and his team will have to look into having someone help them expand. 

The idea for th business came from the fact that there are hardly any direct-to-consumer percussion stores in the world. 

“We are the only direct-to-consumer sticks and mallet business for percussion right now,” Trumbore said. “Everyone else sells through dealers.”

They wanted to fill the hole where direct-to-consumer percussion businesses should be, and create affordable and quality products. Trumbore also tries to be just a text or phone call away for his customers, and that is why he feels the business has grown.

“You don’t get that buying through a dealer,” Trumbore said. “In the business world now you see a lot more of direct-to-consumer disruption.”

Now balancing his new position and his business, Trumbore resides in Carlisle.

“It’s a totally different atmosphere here, I like it a lot. I mean all the students are great, and it’s a great atmosphere, the whole school is,” Trumbore said. “I really enjoy how happy and excited all the students seem to be. Everyone is always excited to be doing what they’re doing.”

Trumbore also enjoys the new pace of life in Shippensburg, coming from the city. 

“For me personally and professionally I’ve noticed a difference in just being more relaxed, and not being as stressed out about my work and my job,” Trumbore said.

Overall, Trumbore is excited to see what the future will hold for SU’s music program and its students.

“I think it has a bright future to it, the whole school does,” Trumbore said. “I’d like to continue to see students just being able to enjoy doing music and art-related things without the stress of a music major over their head.”

“For me personally, I hope that all the students that come through the music program here still make music a part of their life after they leave here.”

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