"The History of the Front Ensemble"
Dr. Summerlin's academic research is centered on the history and development of the front ensemble in Drum Corps International; his publication (abstract and link included below) is the first to focus on the subject.
His research includes a detailed catalogue of the instrumentation for every front ensemble competing in Division I and World Class DCI Finals. Lane continues to document, study, and write about the development of the front ensemble.
(DMA Document Abstract:)
This document is an examination of the history and development of the front ensemble in Drum Corps International (DCI.) The front ensemble can be defined as the group of stationary percussion instruments and electronic instruments that are a part of a marching music ensemble. Today the front ensemble is a major part of every drum and bugle corps, and plays a large role in the “pageantry arts.”
This study provides the first known documentation of the front ensemble’s history. It will include discussion of the development of performance, instrumentation, and the evolution of the musical function of the front ensemble. This document also includes a detailed catalogue of the instrumentation for every front ensemble competing in Division I and World Class DCI Finals.
This document will be beneficial to those seeking to learn more about the front ensemble, marching percussion, or marching music in general. It will serve as a reference for students, educators, and historians. This study may also serve as a resource for further research of marching music and percussion.