By Drew Armentrout
Roland recently put out the call for the nation’s top drummer, and the response was nothing short of amazing! Hundreds of drummers from around the country began their quest over the summer of 2010 at local, regional and national levels for the chance to be crowned The Nation’s Top Drummer. This unique opportunity to showcase their drumming ability and the creative use of Roland’s V-Drums technology, placed contestants in front of cheering audiences all along the way as they were judged by a panel of professional drummers and music industry representatives.
On November 4, 2010, six talented drummers from around the country presented an original drum performance exclusively on the TD-20SX V-Pro Series V-Drums and the OCTAPAD SPD-30 Percussion Pad. The winner of the evening was Go-Go Ray from Kansas City, Missouri, who gave a fun and innovative performance that showcased a wide variety of electronic and acoustic sounds with a skillful, creative, funk-inspired drumming technique. He will go home with his own TD-20SX V-Drums set and PM-30 Personal Monitor System, DW 9000-Series Hardware, REMO custom shell wraps, and a year’s subscription to DRUM! magazine.
The runner-up was Robin Lopez of San Antonio, TX, whose heavy rock and metal influence could be felt through his aggressive rhythms and captivating showmanship. The other talented competitors included Dennis Dove from Oregon, Andrew Faletti from Georgia, JP Bouvet from Minnesota, and Didi Negron from Pennsylvania.
Co-sponsored by Drum Workshop, DRUM! Magazine, Remo, and Blue Man Group, the 2010 V-Drums Contest quickly became the "must-see" drumming event of the year. Held in front of a standing-room-only audience in Las Vegas, the National Finals not only featured the contestants but also performances by Blue Man Group, recording and touring drum set artist and educator Johnny Rabb, and drumming phenomenon Thomas Lang, who performed on an enormous "monster" V-Drums® kit designed by the Roland U.S. drum team. The five all-star judges included songwriter and producer Pat Caddick, drummer and Roland Senior Product Specialist Steve Fisher, percussionist and educator Richie Gajate-Garcia, internationally-renowned drummer Thomas Lang, and GRAMMY®-nominated composer, producer, and songwriter Peter Wolf.
"The first-ever Roland National V-Drums Contest was a huge success overall, and the energy of the contestants and the audience was absolutely electric at the National Finals at Sam Ash Music in Las Vegas," said Roland Percussion Product Manager Tim Root. "All of the contestants not only have superb drumming chops, but their performances really brought out what makes Roland V-Drums such a great creative tool for drummers."
Be sure to check out the videos of the 2010 Roland V-Drums Contest at www.RolandUS.com/VDrumsContest. And, stay tuned for information on how you can be a part of next year’s V-Drums contest. You won’t want to miss it!