The Cymbal Gloves emerged from the place any new product emerges from, which is a place of need. Chelsea Levine sought a way to help her cymbal line at Centerville High School (PSW) achieve some skills they were struggling with. Her students were having difficulties executing the visual phrases she wished to implement, and in some cases, they were experiencing bleeding on the wrists from the abrasive nature of the cymbal straps. From the need to protect the health of her students, as well as find a way to broaden their abilities came the idea for a layer of “armor”, so to speak, that would also solve the problem of straps that grew sticky from the sweat of the performers. With the use of The Cymbal Gloves, that cymbal line learned the skills they were seeking to learn, and it was clear that this tool could help solve these very common problems for other cymbal lines in the activity.
Here in-lies the best part of The Cymbal Gloves, in that the people who profit from the sale of this product are cymbal players themselves. With every purchase of a pair of The Cymbal Gloves, the profits are wholly funneled into a fund that is dedicated to scholarships for cymbal players who wish to partake in the higher levels of the pageantry arts. These scholarships are offered under the umbrella of Κψμβοσ, a cymbal fraternity established by Jack Borland in 2008. Jack and Chelsea co-chair the scholarship and oversee all fund-raising, adjudicator selection and management, and applicant eligibility. Currently, these scholarships are open to people who perform in certain classes of Drum Corps International (DCI) and Winter Guard International (WGI). Plans are currently in place to open the scholarship to ALL classes of DCI and WGI, as well as long-term plans to extend it to performers in Drum Corps Associates (DCA) as well as Bands of America (BOA). The goal is for the sale of The Cymbal Gloves to always reward its most important asset...its performers.
Owner & Κψμβοσ Scholarship Co-Founder
Chelsea began her performance career in marching cymbals with United Percussion in 2006. She marched there for three seasons, after which she auditioned for and gained a position with Rhythm X from Columbus, OH for the 2009 season. She continued her WGI experience with Gateway Indoor from St. Louis, MO, marching the 2011-2012 seasons. In 2007 Chelsea began her DCI career with the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps, and she returned as the section leader in 2008. For the 2009 season, Chelsea auditioned to be apart of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps from San Antonio, TX. Chelsea remained with the Crossmen and acted as section leader for the 2010 and 2011 season. Upon aging out, Chelsea had received many awards and peer-elected accolades for her time spent at both Jersey Surf and The Crossmen.
In the Fall of 2009, Chelsea began her teaching career with Centerville High School, a perennial BOA and WGI finalist in PSW as cymbal technician. She continued to maintain this position, with the added responsibilities of instructing movement and performance for the Centerville Winter Drumline and Centerville Jazz Band through the spring of 2013. Chelsea joined the staff of Spirit of Atlanta for the 2012 season, acting as the co-cymbal tech and aiding in the visual instruction for the battery percussion where she remained through the 2014 season. Chelsea entered the Independent World teaching spectrum with Rhythm X in 2014 and is excited to currently be teaching there for the 2017 season. In addition to her diverse teaching experiences in the United States, Chelsea is established in Western Europe. In 2014 Chelsea was invited to Dadizele, Belgium to teach DrumSpirit, a 6 time Belgian Championship group and a 3 time WGI finalist group at World Championships in Dayton, OH. Here she presented a cymbal clinic for performers from various groups including DrumSpirit, Jubal Drum and Bugle Corps, Eurpean X, and Percussion Unlimited based out of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Chelsea has been fortunate to study under the direction of many instructors including Jack Borland, Erin O’Dore, Melissa McGoldrick, Lauren Sakowski, Ryan Jezierski, Peggy Smires, Steve Regener, Kelly Howell, and Diaz Clark. She is in demand as a cymbal consultant on many levels, including DrumSpirit of Dadizele, BE, Western Carolina University, Lebanon High School, Mason High School, Brookwood High School, Klein High School, and Morton Ranch High School.
Creative Content Designer
Pedro Rodriguez first got involved with music at Fairfax High School in 2007. He played lead trumpet in many of the ensembles he was a part of including jazz, salsa, and the Rose Parade. He entered the drum corps scene with Gold Drum and Bugle Corps in 2008 and also performed with them in 2011. In 2009 Pedro auditioned and gained a lead trumpet spot with The Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. Pedro participated 6 years in the Rose Parade with both LAUSD Honor Band and the Pasadena City College Honor Band.
Pedro first got his hands wet with media in high school as one of the main designers for his yearbook program. After graduating he started to teach music at certain schools and performed as a freelance musician. Pedro then changed careers and decided to go into graphic design for his major. On a final project for his class, Pedro decided to involve Gold Drum and Bugle Corps in his photography. He captured action shots for their 2014 season and published a book called “The Journey” containing photographs from their tour. The Jounrey won book of the month from the AdoramaPix photo print company. This was an incredibly humbling honor and really sparked greater ambitions for photography. Since then, Pedro has worked with various marching bands, the Rose Parade, and WGI/SCPA for winter ensembles. He loves the impact and art he has been able to create for performers from all over the world.
Pedro is currently working closely with the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps as an action photographer. Pedro has also partnered with MRA Couture, Pink Mink Mafia, and Stanbury Uniforms. He is excited to be joining the media team at Seavine and creating new video and photo content for the cymbal community.
Bio coming soon but for now check out Thomas' website here: www.thomasclaesen.com