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Summer Concert 2016 Report

posted 30 Jun 2016, 12:15 by Chris Morris
One of my most fond memories from school is playing in various ensembles both in the school itself, and down at the music centre in Bell Street. I looked forward with excitement to the annual concerts at Caird Hall, and my family would always come and watch me and tell me how well I'd played.

To this day, one of the happiest memories I have is competing for the first time in Dundee's Schools Music Festival. I was terrified standing in a quiet room full of people, including the judges at the back of the room as I played my snare drum solo I'd been practising for weeks. But I remember with joy how great it felt to finish and to be awarded a certificate at the end. 

Performance is important for a young musician. For most of the Dundee Drum Academy students, their first time performing in front of an audience is at one of our concerts. That's a very special thing to provide for a youngster, and I'm extremely proud that I get to do that for them. Last Saturday marked Dundee Drum Academy's second annual summer concert, and fourth concert overall. We've had fifty separate performances from the students themselves, three from myself, and even one from an African drumming group.

I thought our last one was the best yet. Everyone from the start to the finish played brilliantly. Most played their pieces even better than they had been practising in their lessons. It was a good change of tone to hear some familiar songs too, with the primary section kicking off and finishing with some classic AC/DC songs played by Josh and Aaron, and Alexis doing an outstanding job of DNCE's Cake By the Ocean. 

It was also really exciting to see five students making their concert débuts too, with Malachi, Ansh, Adeolu and Scott doing a fantastic job in the primary section (I think Ansh got the loudest cheer of the afternoon!), and Vitoria blowing away the audience in the high school section with 5 Seconds of Summer's Don't Stop.

Aside from the famous songs, we had some high-level graded performances in the primary section with Luke, who has just passed his Grade 2 exam with Merit showing off some skill in a Grade 3 piece, and Lucas doing a great job of a Grade 4 piece. To be looking at pieces of this difficulty level while still at primary school is simply amazing.

We had some interesting drum solos in the high school section from Marco, who bravely volunteered to give a solo rendition of Chop Suey by System of a Down and Ben who tackled Ringo Starr's only drum solo in The Beatles' The End. Both did very good jobs playing confidently and skilfully. 

And who could forget Ciaran and Jay, who have both now played at several of these concerts and who have just got better and better as they go. It's always a treat to look back at previous concerts and see just how far the students have come.

Everyone seemed like they enjoyed playing, and look forward to doing so again at Christmas time. We even had two new Dundee Drum Academy students in attendance who are certainly stars of the future. In fact, they probably could have even done something this time around, but we can definitely look forward to some great performances from them come Christmas.

A huge thanks has to go out to everyone who attended and made the concert a special event for all who performed. And thank you to the Deaf Hub for continuing to be a great venue to host our concerts in. And a huge thanks to my wife and mother-in-law for working as hard as me in organising and delivering the concert.

Looking forward to doing it all again and again!