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Big Beat 2010 in Tulsa

The sound of drums rumbled across North America on November 7th as 15 Five-Star drum shops held the third annual Big Beat. A total of 1454 drum set players and 199 hand percussionists participated, along with approximately 6000 spectators at the 15 locations. Nearly $54,000 was raised for charity and about 6000 pounds of food was collected! The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation will get almost $36,000 to purchase musical instruments for deserving children in Big Beat cities and the remaining $18,000 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 drum corps groups to percussion ensembles to Brazilian samba units and some had guest appearances by major-name drummers like Kenny Aronoff, Jason Bittner, Bun E. Carlos, Rick Latham, Thomas Pridgen, Jeremy Taggart, Derico Watson and Alan White, among others. And one lucky drummer in Minneapolis-St. Paul won the national prize, a Dream Theater replica tour bass drum head autographed by the entire band just for this occasion.

The highlight of the day was when all of the drummers and percussionists in the 15 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 15 participating Five-Star shops were:
  • Buffalo Drum Outlet - Buffalo, NY
  • Colorado Drum & Percussion - Fort Collins, CO
  • Columbus Percussion - Columbus, OH
  • Donn Bennett Drum Studio - Seattle, WA
  • Drum Headquarters - St. Louis, MO
  • Drum World - Tulsa, OK
  • Ellis Drum Shop - Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
  • Just Drums - Toronto, ON
  • Lemmon Percussion - San Jose, CA
  • Original Long Island Drum Center - Plainview, NY
  • The Percussion Center - Houston, TX
  • Resurrection Drums - Hollywood, FL
  • Rhythm Traders - Portland, OR
  • Skins-n-Tins - Champaign, IL
  • Stebal Drums - Cleveland, OH

Additionally, the generosity of these 20 top percussion vendors enabled each location to give away $15,000 worth of drum gear to participants:


Drum Fun

Drum Workshop



Istanbul Agop




Regal Tip







Vic Firth




Comments from the participating store owners capture this unique, multi-city meeting of drummers. Here are just a few examples:

Mat Donaldson from Drum World in Tulsa stated, “Our customers are proud to be involved in this event. As people leave, they joyously exclaim ‘see ya next year’ and then they ask about it all year long. It also shows people what it’s like to help their community and for some, it’s their only opportunity to do that and the only way they can.”

Donn Bennet from Donn Bennett Drum Studio in Seattle exclaimed, “Massive goodwill! A real love fest!”

Paul Mussilli from Buffalo Drum Outlet in Buffalo, NY concluded, “The people who attended are customers for life!”

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.