Music Maker drum contest scores big bang here

Drum contest winners were,, from left: Aashneel Chowdhurry, Jonah Bulle, Madden Guimond, Maverick Thompson, Kyle Liao, Abby Hughes, Eden Hartsfield, and Alex Silva.

It was standing room only at Cactus Jacks Bar & Grill recently as Music Maker Workshops held its fifth annual drum competition.

“The energy during each performance was infectious,” Music Maker said in a release about the competition, which was open to drummers with three or less years of experience.

Participants chose their own music that ranged from rock, metal, pop, indie and had 2.5 minutes to show the judges and audience their beats.

The judging panel was made up of the Music Maker drum faculty and a special guest judge, Austen Mack of the Valley band Captain Squeegee. It was emceed by Devin Brown, a Music Maker instructor and director of the Desert Sound Drum Corps.

The participants were judged on tempo, technical skills, artistry and overall performance.

Participants wore masks ranging from a taco hat during the song “It’s Raining Tacos” by Parry Gripp to a

gas mask worn by a drummer who played to the tune of “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.

Music Maker Workshops reported that parent Josh Lawing thanked the organizers “for this amazing opportunity for all to share, shine and enjoy.”

“Drummers are never usually in the spotlight so it is a pleasure to celebrate them on a special day each year,” said studio manager Jess Magee.

Studio director Shelley Yakubow said, “One thing that stands out to me is how supportive and uplifting the kids are to one another. I was backstage in the green room and the kids were amping each other up and congratulating each other when they came off the stage. It was nice to see them being so good to one another.”

Winners were: Division I: Oliver

Twilley (first place), Lucius Readhead (second place) and Sydney Savoy (third); Division II: Henry Garvy (first), Luke

Nigro (second) and Kellen Glover (third); Division III: Alex Silva (first), Abby Hughes (second) and Eden Hartsfield (third).

Music Maker Workshops has almost 100 drum students and what it calls “a diverse, friendly and experienced drum faculty made up of professional musicians.”

The studio is located on the southeast corner of 32nd Street and Chandler Boulevard in Ahwatukee.

Information: or 480-706-1224.

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