The Sacred Heart University Band has entered a new collaboration with Zildjian, the world’s leading cymbal manufacturer, that “will help our program tremendously,” according to Andy Kolar, assistant director of bands.
“Zildjian is the standard that everyone is measured against, so we are very excited to begin this partnership,” Kolar said. Through the agreement, SHU’s bands will use Zildjian’s products exclusively in exchange for discounts, and the company will replace damaged products. “This will allow members of the marching band, pep band, concert band, wind ensemble and percussion ensemble, among others, to perform on the highest quality cymbals available today. Better instruments produce better sound; better sound helps students be more confident; more confidence helps increase quality…It all stems from having good quality instruments as a musician,” Kolar said.
Zildjian, which was founded in the 1600s, has been the most recognizable cymbal brand for centuries, Kolar noted. “Being associated with that name and brand brings a certain amount of credibility and esteem to our program,” he said.
Sacred Heart has had a similar, beneficial arrangement for several years with Vic Firth Co., which manufactures drum sticks and mallets. “Just as important as the instruments we use are the sticks and mallets used to play those instruments. Vic Firth is also very active in music education. It provides educational resources for music teachers, and we gain the benefit of association with an established, quality brand,” said Kolar.
He anticipates the partnerships will benefit recruiting efforts, helping to ensure the band program continues to develop into a leading destination for first-rate musicians and percussionists. “Quality instruments show our dedication to excellence and artistry. There is no better recruiting tool than quality, and these partnerships are a great step to continue our growth,” he said.
While Sacred Heart does not offer a music major, it does have a music minor and numerous instrumental and vocal ensembles—a source of pride for SHU, said Kolar. “Quality music doesn’t have to stop at schools that have a music major. We aim to uphold that ideal of quality within the context of a non-major program,” he said.