15-year-old Preston boy reaches finals of the Young Drummer of the Year 2020 competition
A 15-year-old boy from Preston has drummed his way to the finals at this year's Young Drummer of the Year competition.
Heath Campbell, 15, has reached the finals of the Young Drummer of the Year competition 2020, an internationally recognised event which sees the very best in drumming talent.
To enter the competition Heath had to film a two-minute video of himself paying an original drum piece he had created before the deadline in November 2019.
After the deadline a shortlist of 40 entries was selected and reviewed by a number of independent judges who then chose ten finalists between them.
Heath said: “I’m really thrilled to have got through to the final ten of the competition.
"It’s been months of preparation and the last three weeks have been focused on preparing drum parts for the song they sent me.
"Also, on my solo piece, finding the balance between style and technique has been a challenge.
"The experience has been so valuable for me as a player and, as I’m about to go into teaching drums, it will help me coach future young drummers”.
The Young Drummer of the Year competition started in October 2002 when drummers 16 or under were invited to enter the first annual Young Drummer of the Year competition on Mike Dolbear's website.
Mike has been a professional drummer for over 30 years having studied with some of the greatest teachers including Kenny Clare, Max Abrams and Bob Armstrong.
Since then, the event has seen tremendous growth, attracting an ever-increasing number of entries.
Sponsorship from various high-profile companies has meant that the competition has continued to improve, both in terms of popularity and scale of production.
To help prepare him for the competition, American drummer Bobby Arechiga, one of the most sort after drum teachers in Britain, is coaching Heath.
Bobby has worked with many legendary artists, producers and musicians including Strongheart, AC/DC’s George Young and Harry Vanda, Screaming Lord Sutch, Trevor Boulder, Eliot Kennedy and John Parr.
Heath's mum, Linda Campbell, said: "He's focused on doing everything he needs to do for the competition.
"He handles pressure very well and it is great that he has got this far."
For the finals, contestants have to perform a solo piece and two other pieces with a band.
One of these pieces of music is sent to each finalist a few weeks before the finals so that they can prepare an original drum piece to accompany the music,
A second piece of music is released on the day of the finals, testing contestant's improvisation skills.
The finals of this year's Young Drummer of the Year competition will take place at the Artrix Theatre, Bromsgrove on Sunday February 2.
'Stick it to MS'
Heath's talent for drums was also recognised when he was only 8-years-old at the 'Stick it to MS' drumming event in 2012.
The 'Stick it to MS' events were held in the UK, and were set up to break the Official Guinness world record for the "Largest Full Drum Kit Ensemble".
The events also helped to raise money for the MS Society of Great Britain.
2012's second "Stick it to MS" event was held in Manchester on July 15, 2012.
The event set a new Guinness World Record consisting of 798 drummers playing together on full drum kits, and managed to raise £99,000 for charity.
Heath received his very own Guinness World Record certificate for attending the event.