A CUSTOM BALANCED, DYNAMICALLY TUNED BATON
John C. Gray, President of Gray America Corp. and an OSU Marching Band Member from 1959-63, took on the challenge of designing an all-metal baton in 1975. At this time, the last manufacturer of the all metal baton had ceased production, and it was John’s goal to maintain the tradition. After 30 years of making the all metal baton with a hollow aluminum ball, John recognized the twirling ability of the drum majors had reached a new level. Consequently, he tackled the effort of improving the Gray Baton, and developed it with a composite material ball instead. The weight of this ball could be controlled perfectly, and the shaft could be secured better and extend further into a solid ball than a hollow ball.
The same 5/8” stainless, chrome plated shaft and balance plug is still used, and the price of $50.00 that was established in 1976 continues today. The critical dynamic of the baton is the distance between the measured center point and the balance point. The dynamic is set at 3/4” but can be custom made for each drum major. This aspect is the greatest improvement in baton design, and allows the advanced drum major to have better control of the baton.