Friday, September 4, 2009

Memo To All Houston Area Church Drummers

On Sunday, November 1st, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, the Percussion Center will be sponsoring the 3rd annual Texas Big Beat (TBB). This event will be hosted by the Houston Airport System and will be held at the Airport Services Complex, 4500 Will Clayton Parkway, Houston, TX 77032.

TBB is a drumming charity event that raises funds to support underprivileged, special needs and at-risk children to develop self-esteem and strong learning skills through music and educational programs. This is a drumming event where drummers of all ages and experiences come together to support children in having an education that allows them to fulfill their dreams for a positive, productive life.

At this event, drummers of all ages and levels of experience bring their drums and set up along side one another. The celebrity drummers will be introduced as they play a round of drum solos. The entire group (including the celebrity drummers) will then play several songs together. Prizes will be given out throughout the program and the group will have additional opportunities to play along with the celebrity drummers.

TBB was inspired by an event called Woodstick held in Seattle for the last 6 years. The World Record was set by the Seattle event in 2006 with 533 drummers. (There is a rumor that the drummers in London, England have recently surpassed that number) TBB is taking on the challenge of breaking the Guinness World Record of gathering drummers to play together in one venue. Also, there will be a total of 11 cities holding "Big Beat" events in cities across the United States and Canada. All of the events are being held on the same day and will be connected via technology to drum together and create a new multi-city record!

In order to break these records, we will need as many drummers as possible to attend this event and this would include CHURCH DRUMMERS. Given that this event takes place on the same day that we do our Church gigs, there may be some scheduling conflicts that Church drummers will have to contend with.

If you play on Sunday evenings, you will more than likely have to contend with a scheduling conflict. Even though TBB is from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, most Sunday evening service start at 6:00 pm. When you factor in the drive and cartage time after the event, and the fact that most praise bands have a rehearsal prior the actual service, you will come to realize that you will not be able to attend TBB and your Sunday evening Church gig. Be prepared to have to tell your leader that you will not be able to play that Sunday evening.

For those of you who play only on Sunday mornings, keep in mind that even though TBB begins at 3:00 pm, you want to arrive there as early as possible. Preferably, no later than 1:00 pm. Arriving as early as possible will enable you to find a god place to set up and take your time doing it. Also, you will have some time to relax, grab a bite to eat and mingle with the other drummers. Depending on when your morning service starts, will depend on how much of the service you will miss. In most cases, a drummer playing at the morning service should be able to play the entire music set in the service before leaving. However, if your praise band plays a song or two after the message at the end of the service, then it is highly likely that you won’t be present for that if you want to arrive at TBB around 1:00 pm.

Given these obstacles that you may have to contend with, allow me to offer you a few tips that might help you out.
1. If your Music Director or Pastor happens to ask you why you will only be attending the first part of the service, or that you will not be attending at all on November 1st. When explaining your situation, be sure to emphasize to that you will be attending a charity event that will raise money for needy and underprivileged kids. Frame it in such a way that they will perceive you as using your drumming talents for something constructive and worth while that will benefit society and that you will be putting your Christianity INTO PRACTICE. Avoid mentioning anything about breaking world records, or that you will get to meet celebrity drummers, or that you will be having fun hanging out with other drummers. They will only perceive that to be trivial and insignificant and will think that your time would be better spent playing in church.
2. If you play in the morning service and leave right after the music set and don’t stay for the entire service, and the church you are playing for doesn’t have a house drum kit. Make sure that the drum kit that you will be playing on at church will not be same drum kit that you will be taking to TBB. Be sure to have a separate kit all packed in your vehicle that is ready to go.
3. If your church has more than one drummer and/or a percussionist, encourage them to participate in TBB as well. Consider having one of you stay behind and play the music set at church, while the other drummer(s) go to TBB with their drum kits and the kit of the drummer who is staying behind to play at church. This same concept can be applied to the evening service as well. Send one drummer back early to play at the church while the other(s) stay to finish the event and pack up.

The bottom line here is that Texas Big Beat will need to have as many drummers present as possible. In the end, those children who are the recipients of the Cherish Our Children and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundations will be ultimate winners whether or not we can set any world records. For more information about TBB and the charities it is supporting go to: You can also register online for this event. See you there.

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