The sound of drums rumbled across North America on November 1st as 11 Five-Star drum shops held the second annual Big Beat. A total of 1202 drummers participated, along with nearly 3,500 spectators at the 11 locations. More than 4,600 pounds of food was collected and $62,500 was raised for charity, which was $17,000 more than last year! The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation will get nearly $39,000 to purchase musical instruments for deserving children in Big Beat cities and the remaining $23,500 will go to children's organizations and food pantries in various Big Beat areas.
Each location had a variety of fun events throughout the day, from demonstrations by Taiko drummers, to drum corps groups to percussion ensembles and some had guest appearances by major-name drummers like Zildjian's Jimmy Chamberlin and Russ Miller among others. But, the highlight of the day was when all 1,202 drummers in the 11 cities played the same groove at the same time, a feat that was achieved through a video internet connection, with the director in each city following the conductor in Seattle.
The 11 participating Five-Star shops were:
Buffalo Drum Outlet - Buffalo, NY
Columbus Percussion - Columbus, OH
Donn Bennett Drum Studio - Seattle, WA
Drum Headquarters - St. Louis, MO
Drum World - Tulsa, OK
Just Drums - Toronto, ON
Lemmon Percussion - San Jose, CA
The Percussion Center - Houston, TX
Resurrection Drums - Hollywood, FL
Skins-n-Tins - Champaign, IL
Stebal Drums - Cleveland, OH
Additionally, with generosity of Zildjian and 24 other top percussion vendors, each location was able to give away $16,000 worth of drum gear to participants.
Comments from the participating store owners capture this unique event. Here are just a few examples:
Mat Donaldson from Drum World in Tulsa stated, "This is the perfect win-win: drumming for a greater good and having a blast doing it!"
Donn Bennet from Donn Bennett Drum Studio in Seattle exclaimed, "Overwhelmingly great! It was a love fest!"
Liz Hawkins from Skins-n-Tins in Champaign, IL summed it up by saying: "The vibe was all positive and the feeling you get from doing this is awesome!"
"We are encouraged by the fact that we collected so much more money than last year and the fact that all participating Big Beat stores are committed to growing this event," commented Rob Birenbaum, manager of the Five-Star Drum Shops group.
The Five-Star Drum Shops group is a non-profit organization of independently-owned specialty percussion stores in North America that are dedicated to advancing the art and science of drumming. For more information, visit www.fivestardrumshops.com.