Five years ago, drummer Donna Fisher noticed that Seattle had been doing a charity drum gathering each year called Woodstick, and it sparked an idea. "They got over 400 drummers and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, we have to do that in Houston,'" she told Rocks Off. This Sunday, Texas Big Beat will host its fifth annual charity drumming event in a warehouse near Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The event raises money to support the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation that provides money to under-funded music programs in local schools as well as Cherish Our Children, an organization that helps high school kids whose parents are incarcerated. They expect to draw more than 100 drummers for this years event which features fastest drummer competitions and three high school drum lines, among other drum-related activities for adults and kids.
At 4:45 p.m., the group links up with Woodstick in Seattle and 13 other cities all across the country to play a single, conducted unison groove.
"Celebrity" drummers appearing in Houston include Erik Hargrove (James Brown), Daniel Glass (Bette Midler, Gene Simmons) and Mike McPhee.
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The event is open to the public of all ages and costs $10. Drummers can register to play for additional fees. And in case you are worried this might be too loud, ear protection is not only available, it's required.
"When drummers are setting up, they are playing," Fisher said. "We have a stage manager who will, every so often, get everyone's attention to make announcements, which gives us a breather from the drumming." They even control the applause. "We tell them, 'For applause, just do one really good rimshot,'" she said.
Texas Big Beat Sunday, November 6, Doors Open 12 p.m. Airport Services Complex Bush Intercontinental Airport 4500 Will Clayton Parkway