Young Percussionists Keep Drumming At Drum Set Camp
Students are rocking to the beat of their own drum.
These sounds are brought to you courtesy of up-and-coming drummers during the 9th Annual Drumset Camp at the Headwaters School of Music and The Arts in Bemidji.
“We can take an instrument like the drum set, which is very specific technique and not a lot of kids get a lot of opportunities to play drum sets in ensembles,” said Drum Set Camp Coordinator Eric Sundeen. “This is an opportunity to broaden our horizons as far as technical stuff is concerned.”
Every year, the Region 2 Arts Council awards a grant to help make the camp possible for these students from local schools around the area.
“With that grant money we get these great books made and everybody at camp receives drumsticks,” said Sundeen.
Kendehl Ballard from Clearbrook-Gonvick is in her fourth year at camp. She likes the atmosphere of playing as a unit because you get a better musical ear. Ballard doesn’t see drumming as just a male-dominated profession.
“Honestly, I mean, if you’re good, you’re good,” said Ballard. “People are going to listen to you.”
It’s B.Y.O.D.S. – “Bring Your Own Drum Set.” During the five day camp students build a drum set and fine-tune it to their liking. A drum set consists of a bass drum, snare drum, tom toms and cymbals.
A few campers told me their favorite part of the camp is “Around The Room,” when everyone plays a snippet of a song.
Some of these campers play multiple instruments like Ben Hinckley. He cut back on the piano to focus more on the drums.
“I focus on them altogether and say in my head, I need to this part and I need to do this part,” said Hinckley. “Then I need to put them together.”
Drummers go on to share the camp experience with their peers.
‘These students are going back to their schools,” said Sundeen. “They’re the drum set player for the school’s jazz band or the middle school jazz band.”
Former campers have gone on to perform on cruise ships or as Vocalmotive drum set players. Whether drumming is a hobby or you want to make a career out of this, the possibilities are endless.