Questions and Answers

  1. Contact

      What is the best way to contact you?

      To contact Kathy Poulan (Office Manager), please call between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM (Pacific Time). For those of you on the East coast, that’s 11 AM – 12 Midnight. Please do not call at 8 AM Eastern time as that is 5 AM here in California! Yes, we have received calls as early as 4:30 AM before! In turn, we will return calls prior to 9:00 PM in your local time zone. The studio and office are located at our home. The phone number is 559-299-5399 and feel free to call us any day of the week including Saturdays and Sundays.

      Kathy can assist you with the following:

      Show availability
      Obtaining perusal scores
      Obtaining recordings
      Permission to Arrange or other copyright questions
      Payment arrangements
      Other questions that are not “music specific”

      To contact me (Key Poulan), the preferred and fastest way is to use email. Feel free to contact me for “music specific” questions. For all other questions, I refer clients to my wife (Kathy). My email is always on when I am working. Entourage checks my email every 10 minutes and I typically respond quickly if I am at the computer which is more often the case than not. I prefer this method because I can complete a musical thought or idea without the interruption of a phone call. This allows me to be much more productive! If you call, Kathy will most likely try to answer any questions that you have without breaking my musical thought process. If you do not receive a response to an email within a couple of days, please try again as I might not have received it.

      Key Poulan:

      How about a phone number to talk to you? Joanie ps Hi Kathy!

      We don't post phone numbers on the web site because there are too many abuses (particularly spam and telemarketers). I check email multiple times a day and can call back so please send your info to me and I'll call!

      What is your mailing address?

      Please send me a email and I can send it to you. I don't publish personal info on the internet.

      I want to know can I get a CD of the music so I can do my drum major audition

      All of the files are available as a free download on this site. You are free to create a CD from those files!

  2. Ordering

      When is the earliest that I can reserve or order a show?

      For marching band, shows are available to be reserved on or after November 1 at 8:00 AM (Pacific Time). For indoor marching percussion, shows are available to be reserved on or after August 1 at 8:00 AM (Pacific Time).

      What information do you need when I order a show?

      We need the following information when you are ready to place an order.

      School Name:
      School Mailing Address:
      (If PO Box, please also give street address for UPS shipping)
      School City, State, Zip:
      School Phone / Extension:
      (If you have a direct band office line, that is preferred)
      School FAX:

      Who is the main director/contact for the marching band?:
      Head Band Director Name:
      Head Director Home Phone:
      Head Director Mobile Phone:
      Head Band Director Email (School):
      Head Band Director Email (Home):
      Assistant Band Director Name:
      Asst. Director Home Phone:
      Asst. Director Mobile Phone:
      Asst. Band Director Email (School):
      Asst. Band Director Email (Home):

      What is you band's web site address?:
      What Region (Texas Only) are you in?:
      What Area (Texas Only) are you in?:
      Number of Bass Drums you march:

      Primary Competitive Circuit / Class:
      What is you primary circuit's web site address?
      Secondary Circuit / Class:
      What is you secondary circuit's web site address?
      Bands of America Event(s)? List all:
      Any other special events?:

      If this is your first time contacting Key Poulan Music, how did you hear about us?

      What do your shows cost?

      Shows vary in price depending on what you are interested in. Please contact me by email for a quote.

      How flexible are you with payments?

      As a former band director myself, I understand the cash flow problems that can exist at the end of a band's fiscal year. Although I prefer to be paid up front before I send out a show, I can be flexible. If necessary, I can even delay the due date on the billing until the upcoming fiscal school year. Bottom line, I am willing to do whatever it takes to make my works available to you and your band as quickly as possible!

      Can I temporarily hold a show?

      There are a few situations for which I will hold a show. I will hold a show while you are obtaining copyright clearance, while you are working on securing a P.O., or if you need a couple of days to finalize the selection with your design team.

      Do you accept Purchase Orders from school districts?

      Yes, we do! We are extremely flexible with payment options and due dates!

      how do i get a practice track?

      KPMPracticeTrax™ are sold as a class set through the band director. Orders can be placed here:

  3. General

      What do you recommend for bands that do not have trumpet players with a solid upper register?

      When the 1st trumpet part gets high in my compositions, I tend to write divisi parts. The upper register pitches are completely optional and are geared for bands with players that can handle them. These “high notes” are typically at the major impact points so having trumpet players who can reach them is purely considered “icing” on the cake.

      How would you describe your levels of difficulty?

      A. Every composition or arrangement is designed to bring out the best sound possible! The level of the orchestrations is primarily Grade 2+ to 5. Most of the technical demands are written in the 1st parts. In virtually all cases, these works were originally commissioned by bands who wanted more depth than is currently available in stock charts.

      Medium Easy: Generally Grade 2 to 3
      Medium: Generally Grade 3 to 4
      Medium Difficult: Generally Grade 4-5
      Difficult: Generally Grade 5

      Can I get MIDI, Sibelius, or other electronic files?

      I do not offer electronic files to anyone. This is a common procedure for most publishers. Piracy has been a huge problem and not sending out my "investment" via electronic form helps curb that significantly.

      What do the wind scores and parts look like?

      All marching band, drum corps, and indoor marching percussion scores are printed horizontally (landscape) on 8 ½” x 11” paper. Parts written prior to 2004 are also printed horizontally on standard 8 ½” x 11” paper. Works written in 2004 to present are printed vertically (portrait) on standard 8 ½” x 11” so they may fit comfortably in a student’s binder.

      When I purchase a show, what period of time may I perform it?

      A. Shows are to be used for one competitive season. If a group wishes to use music beyond one competitive season, additional permission is required.

      What are the advantages of using one of your original works over an arrangement?

      The most significant advantage of using a KPM work is the regional protection against show duplication that you receive automatically. If you use an arrangement of a famous work, bands right next door to you also have the opportunity to acquire a license for that same work. Under no circumstances will I send out music until I have the signed documentation. Please plan for the additional time required for the documentation to be processed by the publisher and ultimately be received by KPM.

      Another advantage is that the original works are programmed with the competitive arena in mind. Pacing, exposures, impact points, velocity, variety, visual concepts, etc… are all well thought out and are completely designed for a competitive edge!

      What do you mean by regional protection?

      All KPM shows come with an automatic area of exclusivity so that you will not compete against the same show. The area that is covered varies from state to state or circuit to circuit as follows:

      Exclusivity is provided within one’s primary circuit (by class). You will be contacted by us if another group in your area is interested in purchasing a work that you have already chosen. After analyzing each group’s show schedule, we will collectively determine the likelihood of a conflict. The first group that purchases a work along with KPM will make the final decision.

      Exclusivity is provided within one’s primary circuit (by class). You will be contacted by us if another group in your area is interested in purchasing a work that you have already chosen. After analyzing each group’s show schedule, we will collectively determine the likelihood of a conflict. The first group that purchases a work along with KPM will make the final decision. Additional exclusivity will be considered for bands from different circuits that fall within 100 miles of one another.

      TEXAS (UIL)
      Exclusivity is by UIL region within your class.
      (UIL “Area” exclusivity is available at an additional charge)

      Exclusivity is typically provided statewide (by class). You will be contacted by us if another group in your area is interested in purchasing a work that you have already chosen. After analyzing each group’s show schedule, we will collectively determine the likelihood of a conflict. The first group that purchases a work along with KPM will make the final decision. Additional exclusivity will be considered for bands from different circuits that fall within 100 miles of one another. Please let us know if your school is near a state line or if you tend to compete outside of your state!

      Efforts are made to avoid duplication at BOA and WGI events. Please notify KPM if you are attending one of these events. We will do our best to avoid any duplication of a show within one’s class.

      All drum corps will be given complete exclusivity per competitive season.

      I like to use a full Master Score that shows both wind and percussion scores simultaneously. How do you build a Master Score?

      You will first need to purchase a 3-ring binder and some sheet protectors. I recommend the Avery heavyweight, clear, non-glare sheet protectors. Place the sheet protectors into the 3-ring binder and turn the binder 90 degrees clockwise. Place page 1 of the wind score into what is now the sheet protector on the top and place the corresponding percussion score page on the bottom. Continue the process until you are finished!

      How much advance time do you need to compose a show?

      Composing a show is an extremely lengthy process. In general, it takes three (3) times longer for me to compose a show than to arrange one. I prefer that all commissioned compositions be scheduled before February 14 (Valentines Day).

      Do you have drill designers, percussion arrangers, guard choreographers, flag designers, and costume designers that you recommend?

      My list of recommended designers, arrangers, and choreographers constantly changes. I will do my best to establish and update email addresses of these creative people. Please contact me for my latest list.

      Do you have any videos or DVDs of your shows?

      I currently do not distribute videos other than one video which includes all of the following shows:

      In the Shadow of Dragons
      Pandora’s Box
      The Rise and Fall of Rome

      The cost of this video (VHS) is $25.00 delivered. (US addresses only)

      What does it cost to back out a contract?

      Each case is unique. Because of our exclusivity feature, the costs of an agreement depends on the duration that has lapsed as other groups are locked out that particular rental. The time begins upon the date of the signature. Please contact us for specific details regarding your particular agreement. In the past when a band director's mind changes about a certain show, most directors exchange it for another available KPM show which doesn't include other fees with the exception of shipping.

      I see that you have some flag work already written for some of the shows. Is it possible to get flag work written for any of the shows that we buy?

      That all depends on the time of year and the choreographer's schedule. Please email me which show you are referring to and I can check into it.

  4. Recording and Perusal Scores

  5. Percussion

      What about the percussion parts?

      KPM provides percussion parts for all original compositions and public domain works at an additional charge above and beyond the cost of the wind scores and parts. Many of the arrangements of works requiring copyright clearance have also been completed and any of those works that need to be completed can be done so quickly.

      Who are some of your percussion writers?

      KPM is proud to work with many of the top writers in the industry. These include but are not limited to (alphabetically):

      Matt Altmire
      Jeff Ausdemore
      Leonard Bedoian
      Nate Bourg
      Mark Branson
      Dan Bryan
      Ariel Campos
      Dennis Carty
      Jim Casella
      Adam Clay
      Nathan Eby
      Kirk Gay
      Gary Gill
      Shawn Glyde
      Ralph Hardimon
      Ralph Hicks
      Mike Huestis
      Mike Jackson
      Allen Joanis
      Scott Johnson
      Jason Hall
      David Knight
      Bret Kuhn
      Brian Lowe
      Steve Maldonado
      Brian Mason
      Shawn McAnear
      Mike McIntosh
      Alex Mendoza
      Phil Minnis
      Kevin Murphy
      Paul Rennick
      Sandra Rennick
      Chris (Romo) Romanowski
      Dimitri Saliaris
      Fred Emory Smith
      Greg Valenzuela
      Jim Weaver
      J.J. Wren
      Jim Yakas

      Why should I use percussion parts that are written by one of your percussion writers instead of using my own percussion staff?

      The main reason I would recommend using a KPM certified percussion writer is because these writers are very familiar with my style of writing and know exactly what I want. The coordination between the wind composer and percussion composers can make or break the musical intent. If you are confident in your own percussion writer, I might suggest that you purchase the percussion scores/parts as a musical guide.

      What percussion scoring do you use?

      In many cases, we do a full and complete orchestration for the percussion section. The more recent orchestrations include the concept that we call "Pit by the Numbers". This system of writing makes use of 4 to 10 players in an order that places the most important parts in the first several pit players. Seven players cover all of the most essential parts.

      PIT BY THE NUMBERS (2007 - Present)
      Percussionist #1: Glockenspiel + Accessories
      Percussionist #2: Xylophone + Accessories
      Percussionist #3: Marimba 1 + Accessories
      Percussionist #4: Concert Bass Drum and Tam Tam + Accessories
      Percussionist #5: Accessories
      Percussionist #6: Vibraphone 1 + Accessories
      Percussionist #7: Chimes + Accessories
      Percussionist #8: Timpani + Accessories
      Percussionist #9: Marimba 2 + Accessories
      Percussionist #10: Vibraphone 2 + Accessories
      Tenors (Quints)
      Basses (3 Bass Drums)
      Basses (4 Bass Drums)
      Basses (5 Bass Drums)
      Cymbals (Field Cymbal Line)

      STANDARD PIT ORCHESTRATION (2006 and prior)*
      Glockenspiel / Crotales
      Vibraphone 1
      Vibraphone 2
      Vibraphone 3
      Marimba 1 (TC)
      Marimba 2 (BC) (Could be lower end of Marimba 1)
      Marimba 3 (TC)
      Marimba 4 (BC) (Could be lower end Marimba 3)
      Percussion 1 (All Mounted Cymbals: Susp, Splash, China, etc...)
      Percussion 2 (All Pitched Misc Perc: Concert Toms, Temple Blocks, Brake Drums, Wood Blocks, etc...)
      Percussion 3 (Toys: Wind Chimes, Effects, Bell Trees, Toys, etc...)
      Percussion 4 (Impacts: Concert Bass, Tam Tam, etc...)
      Tenors (Quints)
      Basses (3 Bass Drums)
      Basses (4 Bass Drums)
      Basses (5 Bass Drums)
      Cymbals (Field Cymbal Line)

      *Standard Pit Orchestrations can be altered to the "Pit by the Numbers" for a small additional fee.

      The percussion orchestrations are pretty extensive in the front ensemble (pit). What do you recommend for bands with smaller front ensembles (pits)?

      I recommend that you first eliminate the duplicate instruments such as Vibraphone 2 and 3, and Marimba 2, 3, and 4. If you need additional custom work in reducing the front ensemble to a specific number of players, KPM offers a customizing service for an additional fee.

  6. Adjustments and Editing

      Can you make adjustments to shorten a longer marching band show so that it fits inside my circuit’s time limitations?

      In many instances, most of my longer marching band shows have already been adapted to fit between 7 and 8 minutes. If you require additional modifications to a show, there may be a charge. Please contact me for details.

      Can you simplify (water) or reduce the instrumentation of a specific wind book?

      I can simplify (or water) or reduce the instrumentation of the wind scores of my original compositions or public domain works. This service is provided for an additional fee and may take a little time depending on the age of the work. Please contact me for more details.

      Can I get you to alter one of your shows?

      Any alterations to a show such as transitions, low brass part reductions, re-titling, or anything else that requires custom work, is possible at an additional charge. Please note that even simple "cuts" require a healthy amount of work especially when you factor in cleaning the music (separating collisions of various markings or revising the new rehearsal marks) as well as extracting and reformatting the new parts.

      May we alter the titles of the show?

      Yes! There are several groups who like to adjust titles so they fit a specific visual concept. Please choose alternate titles carefully. One group retitled my "Rise and Fall of Rome" show as "Stonehenge" which is also the name of a work by another composer. Consequently, the school had to prove that the work was in fact the "Rise and Fall of Rome" even though every printed program had it listed as "Stonehenge". "Stonehenge" is difficult to get copyright clearance and the school district and myself had to spend a lot of time dealing with the lawyer who represents that particular composer. An interesting side note is that this scenario occurred 4 years after the piece was performed.

      May our group take liberties with the music?

      Absolutely! The most important part to being competitive is to have your group sound the best it possibly can. Editing and altering the music is a normal process with competitive ensembles. I’m sure that any altering of the music will be approached tastefully.

      Hello Key! Are you able to use segments from more than one of your shows to fit an original visual concept?

      We do allow that but we don't split shows until after May 1. Show exclusivity is important to us and when multiple shows are involved, it tends to eliminate sales of the shows with those movements.

  7. Arrangements