Drum Fantasy Camp
wrapped up its fourth annual event on August 15,
2010. This year's camp was the largest and most
The 2010 teaching staff
included Peter Erskine, Tommy Igoe,
Thomas Lang, Jojo Mayer, and Dave
Weckl. Additional classes included drummer Joe
Goretti's "Career Course" and a valuable class
with world-class sound engineer Dennis Moody.
Musicians Baron Browne (bass), Chrissi
Poland (keys/vocals), and Vinny Valentino
(guitar), who ran the nightly jams, also ran a
The first day was a
busy one. Beginning at 8:00 a.m., the crew unloaded
unpacked gear from a completely full 16-foot truck.
Drums, hardware, cymbals, rugs, and electronics were
systematically laid out on the House of Blues stage.
By 9:00 a.m., most of
the travel-weary instructors had arrived to help
assemble, position, and tune their kits. Meanwhile,
sound engineer Dennis Moody directed the House of
Blues staff as they set up microphones and fired up
the venue's impressive sound system.
11:00 a.m., all five drumsets were completely
assembled, tuned, and soundchecked. A pretty amazing
feat! The instructors took a break for lunch while
eager campers and local drummers filed in for the
At Noon, the clinic
began with each drummer walking on stage and playing
a short solo. Once all the drummers were on stage,
they played together briefly before sitting down to
begin the discussion.
For the next two and
a half hours, the five instructors engaged in a
discuss that ran
the gamut - from ideas about technique and practice
routines to applications in music, education, and
careers in the industry.
At the end, the
instructors once again played together, closing out
a compelling three-hour afternoon session.
While the instructors
spent time talking to the attendees and signing
autographs, the crew got back to work, setting up
for the evening concert. Mike Stern and
Tom Kennedy arrived at 3:30 p.m. and began
setting up. Shortly thereafter, the drummers
returned to the stage to soundcheck with the band
and rehearse a bit.
At 6:00 p.m., doors
to the House of Blues reopened. Hundreds of eager
fans filled the beautiful venue. Then, at 7:00 p.m.,
the band took the stage to a rousing applause.
accompanied the band for a 60-minute set. Dave tours
throughout the year, so this set the table for the
second set, when each of the other drummers took the
stage for a song and solo.
Each drummer was
brilliant. With little preparation, their
professionalism shined through with relaxed and
creative performances and exciting solos. The crowd
loved Mike Stern's blend of jazz, funk, rock, and
blues. Plus - his enthusiasm for the show was
At the end, all five
drummer played together - trading solos and bringing
down the house in a grand finale. An amazing night!
The next four days
saw each drummer moving into his own classroom and
three-hour master classes per day. Campers moved
from class-to-class, experiencing each instructor
throughout the camp. The classes explored a myriad
of concepts and were very interactive.
In the evenings,
campers gathered for nightly jams, taking turns
playing with Baron, Chrissi, and Vinny. The band
played a wide repertoire, allowing drummers to
choose songs that made them comfortable.
drumming instructors were generous during the jams -
watching the performances and also jumping in to
accompany the campers on percussion. Each camper got
an encouraging pat-on-the-back after their song.
The instructors also
took turns jamming with the band. Some highlights
included Peter Erskine playing "The Chicken," Tommy
Igoe trading solos with Thomas, Jojo, and Dave, and
a fun "duel" with Thomas and Dave with antics that
had everyone laughing.
The camp closed out
with a concert at Nighttown restaurant in
Peter Erskine joined Baron, Chrissi, and Vinny for a
night of wide-ranging music. Peter tore it up, while
Chrissi showed her stunning and complex vocal range.
Baron locked in with Peter for some great moments,
and Vinny led the way with his blend of jazz and
The concert closed
out another fantastic year at Drum Fantasy Camp. It
was one for the ages...
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