Percussion Department

The percussion department offers tuition in orchestral percussion and drum kit. Students have a individual class, which focuses on the leaning aspects specific to the instrument, and an ensemble class, which focuses on developing group playing skills. The ensembles for percussion and drum kit students are the wind bands, the stage band and percussion ensembles.

Drum kit tuition focuses on preparing students to be able to perform in a wide range of musical styles that reflect the performing trends in today’s musical world. Much of the tuition utilises backtracks so the students can play as if they were playing in a band. The advantages of this are numerous, but a very important aspect is learning to play in a realistic setting. Material is drawn from a variety of syllabi for the greatest variety of material. These syllabi include Trinity Guildhall, Trinity Rock and Pop, and Rockschool.

Orchestral percussion students have the full gamut of percussion instruments to learn. Mallet percussion, timpani and snare drum are the main focus for orchestral percussion students. A full set of percussion instruments is available for tuition and practicing, and a wealth of repertoire, built up over the last three decades ensures that all aspects of percussion playing can be covered. In addition there are hire instruments available for students to practice at home. The percussion ensembles deal with group playing and developing listening skills, but also provide students with the opportunity to learn techniques for the many other percussion instruments they may play in wind bands or other ensemble settings.

 

1st Term Percussion Concert 2017

This concert featured a variety of player combinations from duets all the way up to seven performers in one group. Some of the pieces utilised different types of drums, some used mallet instruments exclusively and others used combinations, along with some smaller percussion. The UCT Percussion Ensemble performed two pieces, one of which featured the traditional Indian drum, the Mridangam played by Lilavan Gangen. This was also the first time past Beau Soleil student, Olivia Stanton performed at Beau Soleil as a full time UCT percussion student. Head of UCT Percussion Studies, Frank Mallows, performed two mallet duets with David West at the end of this concert. One of the pieces was a Max Leith arrangement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, which had the performers sometimes playing on the wrong side of the instrument!

 

Drum Kit Exposé 2016

The theme for this 2016 edition of the Drum Kit Exposé was ‘Defining Moments’ and I paid tribute to a couple drummers (Steve Gadd & Dave Weckl) that influenced me at some pivotal moments in my career as a musician and educator. In addition to this I selected other drummers that have always played Yamaha drums to highlight the influence music and musicians have in choices other make because of their performances. The drummers for this show were Adrian Fowler, Devin Jones, Jarryd West and David West. As with the previous edition, we used live musicians for some of the performance: Alex Mayers on Bass Guitar, Claire de Kock on Saxophone, Jeandre Hector on Guitar and Francois Botha on Keyboards. 

As with previous events, Yamaha Music SA sponsored the main give-away prize, which was a Yamaha DTX-400 electronic drum kit. This year’s winner was Richard Schram. Zildjian and Paul Bothner Music also sponsored prizes range from drum sticks to T-shirts and stick bags. A fantastic lighting show and video feed was sponsored by SoundOut! and Richard McMahon (SoundOut! Big Boss) did a sterling job engineering the show!

 

 Richard Schram, winner of the Yamaha DTX400 Electronic Drum kit.

The Drum Kit Exposé 2015

The theme for the 2015 Drum Kit Exposé was ‘Evolution’ and we explored some major features of the development of the drum kit and styles being performed through each decade from the 1920s through to current times. The drummers performing this year were Shannon Devy, Devin Jones, Jarryd West and David West. We also had other musicians joining us; David Watkyns on Trumpet, Ryan Kierman on Trombone, Francis Brand on Clarinet, Alex Mayers on Bass Guitar and Joshua Buchalter on Guitar. Some of the different styles covered included Dixieland Swing, Big Band Swing, Bebop, Rock ‘n Roll Shuffle, Mowtown, Funk, Rock, Indie Rock and Pop. 

As with previous events, Yamaha Music SA sponsored the main give-away prize, which was a Yamaha Gigmaker drum kit. This year’s winner was Meredith Mouton. Zildjian and Paul Bothner Music also sponsored prizes range from drum sticks and T-shirts to a pack of Zildjian cymbals. In addition to sponsoring the lighting and doing the sound engineering, SoundOut! also provided back-up power in case a load shedding episode were to interfere with the entertainment. The show must go on!

  

Meredith winning a Yamaha Drum Kit!        Lesandro winning a set of Zildjian Cymbals!

 

David West

Head of the Percussion Department 

david@beausoleil.org.za

Percussion Gallery

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Events

FUND RAISING MUSATHON

 

We managed to raise R28000 at our 2018 event, which goes towards our development programme. This provides opportunities to many disadvantaged young students to learn a musical instrument. Thanks for your support! MUSATHON 2019 will be in October. The exact date is to be confirmed so keep an eye out. We can top last year's total with your help, so please support us with donations and join us for a day of music making starting at 9am. 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 021 761 1894

The Drum Kit Exposé


This annual event is a performance based workshop that features elements related to the drum kit. It takes place in the third term each year, straight after the end of term percussion concert.

In 2011, past pupil Mike Horne was invited to do a shared workshop with Heinrich Goosen. At the time, it was only planned as a one-off event, but the response was positive and planning started for a second event the next year.

The 2012 and 2013 editions were focused on reading music, a skill that is becoming increasingly important in professional drummers working in the music industry worldwide. Paul Bothner Music provided assistance in the form of additional equipment and prize give-aways.

The involvement of Yamaha Music SA and SoundOut, along with the continued support from Paul Bothner Music, in the productions from 2014 onward has enable us to put on a professional production with top quality sound and impressive lighting displays. There is always a theme for each production and the workshop is more performance based, with at least 4 drummers performing in each show. in more recent events we have been using more live musicians, rather than just pre-produced back tracks. Yamaha's involvement has stretched beyond back-line support. They have provided a full drum kit as the main give-away for 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017. Paul Bothner Music and Zildjian have provided sponsorship in the form of cymbals, sticks and other items at each of these events. Please look under "Percussion News" for individual write-ups of each event.