Drummers set record via Internet

The thunderous rumble that blasted through the Northwest at 2:45 p.m. and lasted six minutes Sunday was not another rainstorm. It was a sea of more than 3,000 drummers banging their drum sets in sync - setting a world record via the Internet.

More than 600 drummers played their drumsets at the Juanita Fieldhouse in Kirkland on Sunday and set the Guinness World Record for the highest number of drummers playing simultaneously via the Internet.

The thunderous rumble that blasted through the Northwest at 2:45 p.m. and lasted six minutes Sunday was not another rainstorm.

It was a sea of more than 3,000 drummers banging their drum sets in sync – setting a world record via the Internet.

The event, the Sixth Annual Woodstick/Big Beat drumming and fundraising event, took place at Juanita High School Field House in Kirkland. It is the brainchild of Donn Bennett Drum Studios in Bellevue.

Northwest drummers hold the Guinness World Record of 533 drummers playing drumsets simultaneously, set at Qwest Field in 2005. The Sunday event combined local drummers with more than 3,000 drummers at other Big Beat events in eight other cities across the United States and Canada and created a new world record for drummers playing simultaneously via live Internet connection.

To keep the drummers in sync, Husky Marching Band Director Brad McDavid led the thousands of drummers via live Webcam.

“One and two and one, two, ready and – ,” McDavid instructed before the synchronized drumming broke out. Novice and veteran drummers pounded alongside of celebrity drummers, including Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse, BB King’s Tony Coleman and Michael Derosier, the original drummer for Heart.

The Woodstick event began in 2003 by Chris Kimball of Tacoma as a Rotary fundraiser. Kimball partnered with Bellevue’s Bennett and together they turned the event into the largest and longest-running event of its kind. To date, the event has raised nearly $70,000 for charity.

Fundraising totals for the Nov. 2 event had not been released as of the Reporter’s deadline. All proceeds from the event will be used to support under-funded school music programs and to promote hearing safety through donations to Rotary Music 4 Life (www.rotarymusic4life.org), Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (www.mhopus.org) and Rotarians for Hearing Regeneration (www.hearingregeneration.org).

“I guess the idea of several hundred drummers banging on drum sets to promote hearing safety seems like a contradiction,” Bennett said, adding that the event was an opportunity to show how easy it is to protect your ears and still enjoy music.

For more information about the event, visit www.BennettDrums.com.

Carrie Wood can be reach at cwood@kirklandreporter.com or 425-822-9166, ext. 5050

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