Tom Float began his career in marching percussion on the single tenor in a drum and baton corps in Pittsburgh, PA. After moving to California, he called a local trophy shop to get suggestions on which drum & bugle corps to march and wound up in the 1973 Diplomats (because in Tom's words, "I called the Anaheim Kingsmen, but their phone was busy). In 72-74, Tom marched and aged out in the Kingsmen with Ralph Hardimon - calling themselves "the heads" (because they were easily a head taller than everyone else in the line).

Tom's teaching career began with the 1975 as an assistant to Sacramento Freelancers' Don Silva. In 1976-77, Tom taught with Al Murray at the Etobicoke-Oakland Crusaders and Spirit of Atlanta in 1978-81. Tom is probably most remembered for his 1982-90 drumlines at the Blue Devils, where he won 4 consecutive percussion titles (1983, 84, 85, & 86). Since 1990, Float has worked with the Velvet Knights, developed music programs at Disneyland and has performed marching percussion clinics throughout the world. Tom recently was inducted into the D.C.I. Hall of Fame.


 Video Interview: Part 1
  The early days: How Tom got his start
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 Video Interview: Part 2
  Tom's first drum & bugle corps experience
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 Video Interview: Part 3
  Comparing "old school" playing vs. today
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 Video Interview: Part 4
  Tom's teaching career
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 Video Interview: Part 5
  Teaching techniques & interpretations at the Blue Devils
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 Video Interview: Part 6
  Development of "the grid"
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 Video Interview: Part 7
  What drum corps has given Tom
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 Video Interview: Part 8
  Tom describes his signature stick
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 Video Interview: Part 9
  Words of encouragement for today's drummers
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Tom's signature stick:
Tom Float (STF)
A full tear drop tip and medium taper combine for durability and speed.
L = 16 7/8" | Dia. = .695"
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