Iain MacDonald reports
Innovation Promotions’ Drumming for Drinks event at the Lord Todd always draws a crowd, and this year was perhaps the largest crowd so far. With a filled-to-capacity room, 15 invited competitors put on a three-hour extravaganza of drumming fun.
Competitors are entered in snare, tenor or bass categories, with a first prize in each category, and then an overall “Lord of the Todd” prize for the drummer with the most overall votes. Each winner received a new Pearl drum, with Remo heads and a Hardcase to suit. The competitors came from Scotland, England, Brittany, Canada, Australia and the United States.
The Drumming for Drinks event brought in several hundred people, and many stood for the majority of the show. Innovation Promotions – Jim Kilpatrick, Tyler Fry and Scott Currie – have done a tremendous amount of work to attract sponsorship, contestants, and spectators, and they are supported by a team of volunteers handling sales, raffles, sound systems, stewarding, security and promotions.
The crowd was entertained by a variety of drumming presentations, from bombards and Breton music to high-voltage pop and flaming tenor sticks, from pipe band tunes to hip hop and Drums Corps International drumming . . . the competitors stretched the limits on every front, including the sartorial, with some thoughtful costuming choices in evidence.
I have to say that the event also stretched the audience’s attention span a bit. With the show lasting past the three-hour mark, it was perhaps a little too much of a good thing. A slightly smaller competition might be a good thing.
At the end of the day, Scotland’s Steven Shedden was the winner of the snare drumming section, and also the overall Lord of the Todd. Shedden was awarded £500, a Pearl Snare Drum, a Remo Pro Pad and CyberMax Drum Heads and Hardcase drum case. He was joined on the podium by Matt Mann (Australia) in the tenor section, and by Mark Stark (Scotland) in the bass drumming section.
The audience got its money’s worth for the show, and there were quite a few laughs along the way. The event is a highlight of the Festival for many, and Jim Kilpatrick made comment about how great it is to see so many young players up on the stage, having fun with music, and performing to a high level in a relaxed atmosphere.
Iain MacDonald is the Pipe-Major of the Grade 2 City of Regina Pipe Band of Saskatchewan, Canada. A prominent solo piper and teacher, professionally he designs things like ads and websites. He is a long-time contributor to this magazine.