14
Jun
10

Stitely Soundboard: high school drummers feel the beat

Have you ever heard of the Naperville Central High School “DrumShow”? You’ve got to check this out! It’s like an amped up combination of Blue Man Group and Stomp that features serious percussion ensemble literature, all with high school percussionists.  I was asked by Ben Wahlund, the director that runs the percussion ensemble, to be the guest artist this year. It was a treat to see him work with these kids and expect so much out of them. And they delivered!

Man, these kids are amazing. We’re talking 13 high school percussionists putting on a show that lasts over 2 hours that completely wowed more than 3,000 people in 3 days. It was quite the production — there were 3 huge screens with video and live web cam, lighting, costumes, pro sound and a custom stage design. These kids were amazing. Check out their website:  http://nchsdrumshow.com/

They did a piece with 6 percussionists playing on 3 ladders. Yes, we’re talking choreographed movement and drumming on ladders that was so fun to watch and took incredible skill. We did a big African piece with Gahu dancing and drumming with every percussion instrument imaginable.

The finale was a Wahlund arrangement of Slum Dog Millionaire, for which I got to play tabla, and was highlighted with a Bollywood dance troupe made of 7 year olds through high school aged dancers that completely brought the house down. The arrangement and performance was so good, I thought I was back in India. The audience was roaring throughout the show. It was one of the best experiences of my career. I was so inspired by the students’ and directors’ dedication and commitment. There’s nothing like it in the country. Don’t miss Drumshow 2011 next April!

-Jeff

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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