Pick up the sticks at drum fest in Nanaimo this Saturday


WATCH: It may be a noisy Saturday in Nanaimo as professional and aspiring musicians pick up their drumsticks for the ultimate jam session. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

It takes a whole lot of hanging, clanging and banging to get just the right beat on a drum set.

“You’re using a lot of brain power to try to keep the rhythms going, counts going and tempos going,” explained percussionist Tom Ecclestone.

The 57-year-old Nanaimo man started playing the drums seven years ago.

“I stopped riding dirt bikes off road and was looking for something different to do, and I always liked drumming,” said Ecclestone.

“It’s good to expand your mind, it’s fun and challenging at the same time.”

That co-ordination becomes even more difficult when the typically solo instrument is played as a group.

“With there being multiple drummers in one room, there’s a certain energy and power that comes from it,” said drum fest organizer Mike “The Drum Guy” Harrison.

Harrison is hoping to get as many local drummers together as he can for the Day of the Drum Festival this Saturday in Nanaimo.

“We have drummers like Pat Steward from The Odds coming in,” Harrison explained. “The drum festival is a way to honour our local drummers and drummers that are mentors to those of us that do live here.”

There are dozens of kits, more than 50 symbols and a state-of-the-art recording studio and percussion facility at the newly-opened K-Train Music Studios.

There will also be classes and workshops hosted by local drummers.

The event is open to drummers of any age and level who want to jam out.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are,” Harrison explained. “If you want to pick up sticks and play, do it.”

The Day of the Drum Festival takes place on Saturday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at #1-2330 McCullough Rd. in Nanaimo.

Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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