Local drum school hosts physically distanced recital outside

Keeping the beat alive

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it didn't look like a Kelowna drum school would have a chance to show off all they had learned over the past year. But at the last minute, an outdoor, physically distanced year-end recital was organized, and the beat went on.

Zac Gauthier founded Bring the Noise Drum Academy six years ago, and he's been providing one-on-one lessons to people of all ages ever since. Gauthier holds two recitals in a gym every year, one in December and one at the end of the year in June, to give his students a chance to show off all they've learned to their parents and loved ones.

This year, with gatherings restricted to less than 50 people, Gauthier figured they'd have to forego the year-end recital, but a week out, he decided to get creative.

“I wanted to do something that was going to end the year well,” he said. “We're just going to have some fun and so something a little more creative.

On Thursday evening, about 20 of Gauthier's students and their families met in the back field at Kelowna Christian School and set up their drum kits in large circle, two metres apart from each other. And the jamming commenced.

Gauthier led the students, ranging in age from eight to 55, through three songs, as the percussion echoed off the school's walls. The parents sat on the edge of the field, filming and clapping for every song.

“I wanted to use drums as a means for these kids to express themselves, so if they can express themselves on the kit, then maybe they'll be able to learn something that can operate outside of the drum studio and it's something they can use in life,” Gauthier said.

“I'd love if these kids walk out of here drummers, but even if they don't the goal is that they'll learn something else outside of music.”

Gauthier, who's part of local band Andrew Judah, says teaching drums has been extremely rewarding.

“Getting to work with autism, down syndrome, anything like that, is an amazing opportunity for me, because I know drums are so therapeutic for anybody,” he said. “It is incredibly rewarding, but I just can't believe I get to wake up and play drums everyday.”

More information about the Bring the Noise Drum Academy can be found here.

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