Larry Lawless

Larry Lawless, founder of the Lawless Percussion and Jazz Ensemble, has been involved in music education for over 35 years, as a high school and junior high band director, private lesson teacher, clinician, drum and bugle corps caption head, and university instructor. His former students can be found in teaching positions and performing venues across the country. He has been a featured clinician for schools in Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa and the Texas Music Educators and Texas Bandmasters Conventions. From 1999 to 2013, Larry served as the Associate Band Director/ Percussion Specialist for Stephenville ISD in Stephenville, Texas. He holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas and a Master of Music degree in Music Composition and Percussion from the University of Nebraska.


Mr. Lawless endorses Encore Mallets and Sabian Cymbals. He is the former President of the Texas Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, and in 2008 was named Outstanding Chapter President.

After the performance for Doug's class, it's time to start the recording. Kevin Harbison, our recording engineer, has quite a challenge to figure out how to handle the diversity of instruments. We have pretty much taken over the recital hall, with 2 marimbas, 2 vibraphones, the MalletKat (an electronic mallet percussion instrument we are using for most of the bass parts) drumset, congas, hundreds of small percussion instruments.

The first song to go on disk is "The Tortoise and The Hare" by Rich MacDonald. I decided to do this one first, because it is so different from everything else we are doing. It uses no mallet instruments, only piccolo snare drum, 3 concert toms, wood block, ice bell, temple blocks, and bass drum. It is more like a traditional percussion ensemble piece that you would hear on a college or high school percussion concert. Although most of the piece is in 7/8, the bass drum keeps a steady ostinato of 2 8th notes going throughout, being the "tortoise" plodding along as though it were 4/4. The temple block part in 7 is dancing and scurrying around the bass drum part, the "hare" of the title, as the other parts, like spectators to the race, interact with the other two, in and out of different time feels. This proves to be quite a challenge to record, as the rhythms are very intricate, at times obscuring the beat. After a number ot takes, the first song of the CD is in the can, and we go out for a well deserved relaxing dinner. It's not until the waiter tells us that we realize it had poured down rain earlier in the day. We've seen nothing but the inside of the recital hall for 3 days now.