When the Machine Comes Marching In: Percussion students submit to break an official world record

Reggie Jolly and Carly Kramer

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snjo6VaC-Ow[/embedyt]

Remember in elementary school when we looked through those giant books of world records? Pretty soon, the University of North Florida might be featured in one.

Dr. Andrea Venet, Assistant Professor and Director of Percussion, created the world’s largest marching machine with her students last spring.

Venet moved to Jacksonville two years ago to teach percussion at UNF, and has since been changing the way of thinking for many of her students. Being a percussionist, she required her office to be soundproof so that she could practice to her heart’s content. Venet ordered soundproofing foam for her walls and decided to keep the 4-foot by 4-foot wooden box the foam came in. Instead of simply throwing the box away, Venet immediately thought to make a marching machine with her students, right from scratch.

Venet and her students constructed the marching machine from scratch.

A marching machine is a percussion instrument designed to sound like an army or a marching band when played on a wooden or metal surface.

Venet and her students are currently in the process of getting the machine approved in order to be an official world record. Not only would they be setting a world record, they would be creating the very first record in its category.

The machine has already been used in about three performances in Lazzara Performance Hall and is scheduled to be featured in a few percussion and wind ensemble performances in the next couple of months. Venet has even written original compositions with sections specifically for the marching machine.

History proves that the percussion family has a large variety of instruments, but Venet and the UNF percussionists have taken it to the next level with creating their instrument from scratch.

The marching machine will make another stage appearance at the Percussion Ensemble Concert on March 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lazzara Performance Hall.

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