From the time he picked up his mallets as a youngster in the tenor line of the Beverley Crusaders, Neil Larrivee’s career path was set. He was to become one of the most influential personalities in Drum Corps, on multiple levels.
His instructional credentials are truly impressive. Beginning in ’93, Neil worked with the Cadets front ensemble, first as a tech and co-arranger, eventually assuming full director/arranger responsibilities through the ’08 season. He also wrote the front group (and battery) charts for the Bluecoats during ’98 and ’99, and for the Blue Stars from ’10 through ’12. He returned as facilitator for the Cadets front ensemble in 2019, a position he currently holds. His international credits include arrangements for Jubal (Netherlands) and Northern Star (UK).
But perhaps Neil’s greatest contribution consists in the energy he applied to the promotion of the Indoor Drumline and scholastic band activities. “Local corps” have all but disappeared, but thousands of potential Drum Corps performers are learning their basics in school programs today. His influence here was recognized by his induction into the WGI Hall of Fame in 2016. His outreach to the scholastic band community has funneled waves of talent into competitive Drum Corps.
And Neil has prompted industry leaders like the Avedis Zildjian and Vic Firth companies to devote resources to marching percussion education as never before. For Drum Corps, Neil Larrivee is the ultimate “Influencer”.