Ralph Hardimon has been considered by many to be arguably the greatest percussion teacher of all time. His work with numerous different drumlines throught out a career spanning almost 30 years has helped him leave his mark on multiple genertions of drumlines.
Ralph was born in Los Angeles, California. He marched with the Velvet Knights before joining the Anaheim Kingsmen, and aged out when they won the first DCI World Championship in 1972. He then moved on to directing, eventually helping Fred Sanford instruct the Santa Clara Vanguard. During that time he and Fred are credited with inventing and creating many features that are now seen as common percussion items, such as "quads" or four toms, the modern cut-out design of today's tenor drums, a more musical drumming style, later added upon by SCV alumni Jim Casella and Murray Gusseck, and even the first front ensemble, or "pit".
After 1989, he left the Vanguard to teach elsewhere, including the Velvet Knights, Blue Kinghts, and more recently, Capital Regiment in 2006 and the Troopers from 2007-2010. Ralph has returned to the Blue Knights for the 2011 DCI season.
Ralph was inducted into the DCI hall of fame in 2000. He is sponsored by Vic Firth Drum sticks and received the “Life Time Achievement Award” from Sabian Cymbals in 2005.
He currently lives in Denver, Colorado.