Preston teenager reaches finals of the Young Drummer of the Year 2022 competition

Heath has been named as one of the top 10 Young Drummers in the country for the second time.

By Aimee Seddon
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 3:45 pm

A seventeen year old boy from Preston has reached the top 10 of the Young Drummer of the Year competition 2022, an internationally recognised event which showcases some of the country's best drumming talent.

This is the second time that Heath Campbell has reached the prestigious finals, which will take place in February next year, having also been successful aged 15.

Heath, who attended All Hallows Catholic High School in Penwortham, before moving to the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to have made the top 10 again, there’s some serious competition so I’m going to have to work hard!

Preston teen, Heath Campbell, has reached the top 10 of the Young Drummer of the Year.

"I try to practice as often as I can, when I can’t practice at my drum kit, I sit watching tv with my practice pad in front of me, working on technique.

"I definitely feel like I’m a much better drummer than when I was 15, I look back on my previous finals performance and notice so many mistakes or areas for improvement. I believe now my technique, creativity and flow has improved so much, although I’m still a long way off being the level of some of my favourite drummers!"

To enter the competition Heath had to film a two-minute video of himself paying an original drum piece he had created, a shortlist of 40 entries was then selected and reviewed by a number of independent judges who chose the ten finalists.

For the finals, Heath and the other contestants will each have to perform a solo piece written by themselves, as well as two other pieces with a band.

This is the second time that Heath has made the finals of the prestigious drumming competition.

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 it, whilst the second piece of music is released on the day of the finals to test contestant's improvisation skills.

Heath said: "We haven’t yet been given the song we have to create a drum part for, but I remember last time it was great seeing how everyone interpreted the song in their own way. At the moment I’m focusing on creating a two minute solo which expresses who I am as a drummer and (hopefully) impresses the judges!"

The Young Drummer of the Year competition is usually for drummers 16 or under, although this year's age limit was raised to 17 to account for the missed year during the pandemic

The competition started in October 2002 and has since seen tremendous growth, attracting an ever-increasing number of entries, with sponsorship from various high-profile companies meaning that the competition has continued to improve, both in terms of popularity and scale of production.

As well as competing, Heath studies at LIPA and is a member of two bands.

It was founded, and is still ran by Mike Dolbear, a professional drummer for over 30 years, who has studied with some of the greatest teachers including Kenny Clare, Max Abrams and Bob Armstrong, and worked across a variety of platforms, including studio, TV, and musical theatre.

Heath added: "This competition provides a platform for me to be seen, the judges are usually top level professional drummers and it’s great to be able to network with them. Every finalist gets a video posted on Mike Dolbear’s YouTube channel meaning anyone could be watching, and winning the competition gives the opportunity to play at events such as the UK drum show!"

The 2022 Young Drummer of the Year final will take place on Sunday February 6 at 2pm at the Number 8 Arts Centre in Pershore, Worcestershire.

Outside of the competition, Heath's drumming has also made him a Guinness World Record Holder, as when he was eight, he was one of 798 drummers to take part in the 'Stick it to MS' drumming event in 2012, which broke the record for the "Largest Full Drum Kit Ensemble" and helped to raise £99,000 for the MS Society of Great Britain.

Heath when he got his first drum kit, aged six.

Today, Heath is also the drummer for two bands, Preston based Sour Note Trio, and London based Youth Illusion, who have released an EP and will be touring next year.