Murray Gusseck is considered an innovator in the world of marching percussion. He started his drum corps career as a marching member of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps in 1988 and later went on to instruct the group in a variety of capacities. In the 18 years he was a part of the SCV organization, he received many accolades as a player, teacher, and composer.
Murray attended San Jose State University, studying with Dan Sabanovich, Hafez Modirzadeh, Royal Hartigan, and C.K. Ladzekpo. In the drum corps realm, he was mentored by some of the greats: Ralph Hardimon, Glen Crosby, Scott Johnson, Curt Moore, and Robert Chavira. Gusseck also shared the field as a marching member with Jim Casella, Jeff Queen, Colin McNutt, Nick Angelis, and many other now household names.
Gusseck is known for a unique compositional style, a signature sound, and a propensity for achieving a smooth, drumset-oriented approach to the marching percussion genre. He also helped start a trend of drum line ”parking lot” shows by writing many challenging etudes for the battery ensemble to play during their pre-show warm-up routines. The music for these parking lot etudes became widely sought after and subsequently became part of the fuel for the next chapter in Gusseck’s career.
In 1998, together with friend and SCV-partner-in-crime Jim Casella, Gusseck co-founded Tapspace Publications, a percussion sheet music publisher. With humble beginnings, the company went from being a marching percussion side project based on the marching compositions of its two founders to a real force in the world of percussion music.
Gusseck is a signature artist for Vic Firth, the maker of his signature marching sticks (nicknamed ”M-Dawgs”). He also proudly endorses Remo drumheads and Brooks Drums. He has presented clinics across America as well as in Japan, Thailand, and Singapore. He currently lives in the Pacific Northwest where he manages Tapspace and drums locally in several different projects.