The University of Arizona

About Us

Ensemble

The University of Arizona Drumline is the battery-only percussion section for the “Pride of Arizona” marching band. As of around 1986 the line has been a drum corps style unit. The UA Drumline is also an individual performance ensemble, and as a University function provides outreach to the community through workshops and performances.

Philosophy

One of our strongest goals as an ensemble is to create experiences that are enjoyable to the performer as well as the listener. We believe in educational and personal growth while teaching rhythmic accuracy, precision, and consistency. We provide equal opportunity on the various instruments, and embrace quality over quantity. We strive to maintain our excellence and precision as one of the top collegiate drumlines in the country.

Sponsors

The University of Arizona Drumline exclusively plays Mapex drums. In addition, we are very fortunate to have obtained sponsorship from Zildjian cymbal company, Remo Inc., and Vic Firth drum sticks, providing top-of-the-line equipment in support of our efforts. Please take a few moments to visit our sponsors by clicking on their respective icons below.


Thomas Gonzalez - Director

A graduate of the University of Arizona with a BA in Music, Thomas Gonzalez has had years of experience learning what it takes to be a good musician and how music can create positive life experiences and build strong character. His marching background includes five years on snare with the Pride of Arizona Marching Drumline, two years as drum captain, three years on drum set with the POA Pep Band, and four years with Fusion Indoor Percussion. Thomas’ work as a high school drumline instructor in the Tucson area has brought his ensembles multiple Superior rankings at ABODA marching festivals and WGAZ “Scholastic A” competitions.


Eric Sorenson - Upper Battery Tech

Eric Sorenson is a percussion instructor and arranger from Tucson, Arizona. He currently serves as the Percussion Caption Head/Battery Arranger at Canyon Del Oro High School in Tucson, AZ. Eric has also been a part of the percussion/design staff at Ironwood Ridge High School (Tucson) and Rincon/University High School.

Eric spent 10 years of his life as a performer in the marching arts activity starting at the age of 12 years old. After graduating from Canyon Del Oro High School in 2014, he spent his first summer in Drum Corps International as a member of the Front Ensemble at Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps. After that, he returned to the activity by earning his spot on the Madison Scouts snare line in 2016, and then again in 2017 for his age-out summer where he served as the Battery Captain for the 2017 season. Capping off his last summer of DCI in 2017, Eric was awarded the Yamaha Music Educators Scholarship.

With drum set being Eric’s main instrument, he is currently finishing his BM in Jazz Studies/Performance from The Fred Fox School of Music at The University of Arizona. Eric has had the pleasure of being under the direction of Dr. Norman Weinberg, Dr. Morris Palter, and Dr. Angelo Versace at The University of Arizona. He has performed in ensembles such as the UA Wind Ensemble, Arizona Symphony Orchestra, various percussion ensembles, “CrossTalk” electronic percussion ensemble, Concert Jazz Big Band, Experiential Jazz Combo, and spent 3 seasons on the snare line with the Pride of Arizona Marching Band.


Nick Knepper - Bass Tech

Nick Knepper is incredibly excited to begin his first year as a member of the Pride of Arizona Percussion Staff.

An active marching percussion educator and clinician in the Tucson area, Nick found his love for the marching arts while attending Canyon del Oro High School in Oro Valley, AZ.

Inspired after seeing his first live DCI performances in 2011, Nick continued his performance career with a total of 5 World Class DCI tours, performing in the front ensembles of Pacific Crest (Diamond Bar, CA), the Madison Scouts (Madison, WI), and Carolina Crown (Fort Mill, SC).

Currently, Nick resides in Oro Valley, AZ, where he will be entering his 6th season serving as the Battery Arranger/Caption Head for Ironwood Ridge High School.

Nick is excited and honored to become a part of the University of Arizona family!


Nicole Nelson - Cymbal Tech

Nicole Nelson is an alumna of the Pride of Arizona cymbal line marching from 2010-2013 and was section leader her final year. In 2012, Nicole marched cymbals for the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. She has volunteered her knowledge of cymbals with several high schools around Tucson and with anyone wishing to learn. Nicole graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Psychology and went on to receive her Master of Public Administration in Phoenix.