Rob van Loben Sels Founding Artist
It all started with a simple question from my Mom: "Why don't you try drums?" Did she understand what she was getting herself into, or what she was getting me into? I tend to think yes, as parents are all-knowing and such. ;-)
I've been involved in percussion well over 20 years now, first as a performer and then as an instructor and composer. I loved the years spent in school bands (jazz, concert, and marching) and in drum corps, they were really fun and the groups I was a part of achieved many great things. Those years set me up for where I am today and I really appreciate that because these later years (as an instructor/composer) have been particularly fulfilling. After aging out of drum corps I knew that couldn't be it, I wasn't going to stop there, so the most logical step was to start teaching. I was very fortunate to work with some great people in college, Alan Keown, Tim Vian, and Micah Brusse (amongst several others), and it was with their guidance and assistance that I started teaching (and dabbling in writing) at a couple of high schools in Eugene, OR.
Shortly after graduating from college and entering "the real world" (read: corporate America) I discovered something about myself: a huge contributor to my sense of self-worth is adding value to the world around me and more importantly directly helping others. While there were aspects of my day job that involved helping others, it was mostly abstract and I felt that there was something missing from my life. As I knew a few years earlier, this couldn't be it, so I worked hard and met some folks who needed a hand with their marching program and soon I was back doing what I loved: working with percussion and percussionists!
It was about this time that the idea of what would eventually become D'Rumpus started to build steam . o O ( Wouldn't it be great if there was a website where you could get all sorts of percussion music?! ). In fact, the very very very beginning of D'Rumpus can probably be traced 10 years back from that point to my college apartment when I would spend hours scouring a very young internet (this was the 90's folks and I was on dialup!) looking for percussion music -- those efforts being mostly unsuccessful.
So here we are, a good 7 years later and everything has come together so nicely! D'Rumpus epitomizes what I spoke of earlier -- you the customer get access to amazing music, and when you make a purchase a large amount of that money goes directly to the artist! You win because you get great music (and learning tools) and the artist wins because they get the support they need to keep on creating their works which brought us all here in the first place!
Switching gears a bit, I wanted to take a moment to talk about my writing. If someone asked me if I liked to write or teach more I couldn't answer that question as both activities add so much to my life. Teaching is rewarding from a "doing good" standpoint, while writing is just as impactful but in an entirely different and more personal way. When I'm writing and really in the zone it's like I'm connected to something bigger than myself and the music just flows through that connection. There are very few things that I have found that can really quiet my mind and let me do just that one thing… the nearest example I can give is riding/racing my motorcycle at the track, but even that is different because riding demands 100% focus and concentration -- for me writing music doesn't demand 100% focus and concentration, it provides it.
My writing style greatly varies, but two of the biggest constants are:
- I like to use every section/instrument for the lyrical qualities it provides. Each voice is unique and can offer something that another voice might not be able to so I do my best to bring the best out of every instrument with my writing.
- I try to write music that is enjoyable both to play and listen to. It's important to me that the people experiencing my music have fun doing so. Writing music for ensembles that go on to win championships is a great "cool factor" but it doesn't mean as much to me if the groups aren't having fun and enjoying the music they're brining to life.
That pretty much sums things up for now... I hope you enjoy this site and everything you find on it. I can't tell you how excited I am that this dream has become a reality, and I welcome you to the D'Rumpus family.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
- Mandarins 1996 DCI Division 3 Champions (P)
Mandarins 1996 DCI Division 3 High Percussion (P)
- Mandarins 1997 DCI Division 3 Champions (scored highest in Div 2/3) (P)
- Mandarins 1997 DCI Division 3 High Percussion (scored highest in Div 2/3) (P)
- Mandarins 1998 DCI Division 3 Champions (P)
Mandarins 1998 DCI Division 3 High Percussion (P)
- Independence High School 2006 WBA AA Champions (E) (M)
- Independence High School 2007 WBA AA Champions (E) (M)
- Independence High School 2008 WBA A 2nd Place (E) (M)
- Independence High School 2008 WBA A Percussion 2nd Place (1 loss all season)(E) (M)
- Independence High School 2009 WBA A 2nd Place (E) (M)
- Independence High School 2009 WBA A High Percussion (undefeated season) (E) (M)
- Independence High School 2011 NCPA PSCA Champions (E) (M)
- Amador Valley High School 2010 WGI Regional 2nd Place (E)
- Amador Valley High School 2011 NCPA PSO Champions (E)
- Amador Valley High School 2012 CCGC PSO Champions (E)
- Amador Valley High School 2012 NCPA PSO Champions (E)
- Amador Valley High School 2012 Fiesta Bowl Parade Class A Champions (E)
- Amador Valley High School 2012 Fiesta Bowl Field Show Championships High Percussion (E)
- Amador Valley High School 2013 NCPA PSO Champions (E)
- Amador Valley High School 2014 NCPA PSO Champions (E)
- Independence High School 2016 WBA A 2nd Place (E)
- Independence High School 2016 WBA A High Percussion (E)
- Dublin High School 2017 NCBA AAAAA Champions (E)
- Independence High School 2017 WBA A Champions (E) (M)
- NorCal Indoor 2017 NCPA PIO Champions (E)
- NorCal Indoor 2017 WGI PIO Finalist (E)
- University of Oregon, Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, emphasis on Computer Information Technologies
- Willamette High School (E) (M)
- Thurston High School (E)
- Independence High School (E) (M)
- Amador Valley High School (E)
- Dublin High School (E) (M)
- NorCal Indoor (E)
- University of Oregon Marching Band (P)
- Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps (P)
- ASCAP (M)
- Vic Firth Education Team Member (E)