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Halftime Magazine interviews band alum

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Andy Tamulynas

Practice anywhere without lugging the pad around—that’s the purpose for Vic Firth’s Universal Practice Tips, says Andy Tamulynas ’05, category manager of drumsticks and mallets for Vic Firth. While the original Universal Practice Tips were introduced in 2015, Vic Firth has just released a new version—the Universal Marching Practice Tips—specifically for marching band and drumline members.

Just like the previous model, these tips provide a rubber covering to fit over the tips of drumsticks, allowing musicians to practice on any surface without making too much noise. This new model differs in its size and color.

“We reengineered it to fit on all the marching sticks we make,” Tamulynas says. “The overall size of the tip is bigger. The crucial part of the size is the cavity inside to accommodate a large stick.”

In terms of color, Vic Firth’s drumset tips are grey while the marching tips are “a bright red color, and they stand out,” Tamulynas says.

Tamulynas says he understands the need for marching drummers to practice while on the road. “For marching, if you’re on tour, on the bus, and you just want to go through a lick, you don’t have to get out drums or grab a drum pad,” he says. “You can just grab these tips, and away you go.”

Tamulynas has spent the past 12 years in the music industry working in a variety of marketing and product-focused roles. Beginning his post-UMass career in Digital Media at Vic Firth Company, Andy generated social brand advocacy through video marketing material and engagement campaigns. In his current role as Category Manager of Drumsticks and Mallets for the Avedis Zildjian Company, his responsibilities include research and development, marketing, and promotions for the Vic Firth and Zildjian Drumstick brands. Andy performed in the front ensemble and marched bass drum in the Minuteman Marching Band and worked as a photographer for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian while at UMass Amherst.