Ron Vaughn Percussion’s origins began in the 1960s when Ron Vaughn first started designing and building percussion instruments for his own use. It wasn’t a business back then, though the early ideas were coming to life.
Beginnings: One fall season, Ron and his fellow young Kansas City high school musicians were gathered together in an all-city honor orchestra in Kansas City to perform a collection of pieces that were both some established band and orchestra standards, and more contemporary works.
Vaclav Nelhybel, the Czech composer, was guest conductor. In one of Mr. Nelhybel’s compositions, he had included a part for slapstick in the texture of the composition. In rehearsal, he always asked for more sound, more volume from the slapstick part.
Back home, during the week of first rehearsals, Ron built an unusually large slapstick from some lengths of 1″ x 6″ hardwood, a couple of drawer handles, and a short length of piano hinge from the local lumber yard.
In the next rehearsal, Ron brought this enormous slapstick to play for the written part. As Mr. Nelhybel cued the slapstick he heard this tremendous and sonorous ‘crack’, and immediately beamed with a great smile and a resounding ‘thumb’s-up’. Ron was on his way to designing and building percussion instruments.
Today, Ron’s instruments can be heard literally all over the world, and in most every type and style of musical performance, both live and recorded.