Performances

To most musicians, a drummer’s job is simple: keep the time. Keep steady. Keep the band together. Maybe even set up transitions and specific rhythms in a song. Well,that’s a good start, but in my opinion it’s just that: a start. Drummers must be able to keep time. But if all we are is time keepers, we’re easily replaced by drum machines and computers (and we are, in many cases, replaced just like that). Further, it’s my opinion that time is the responsibility of the entire band (got that guitarists?!?!).

So what is the specific responsibility of the drummer? I was fortunate enough to learn the answer during my formative years in high school. Thanks go to Buhler HighBand director, Ray James (now Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Baker University) for this one. A drummer’s job is to “paint the picture.” What doesthat mean? The tonal instruments of the band will draw the lines using melody and harmony. But drummers take that black and white sketch and fill in color. We use bright shades like cymbals and snare drums. Or we can use darker hues like bass and toms.We can paint in pastels using brushes and laying back. Or we can break out the super-intense markers to color with sticks and flashy rolls. It’s our job to decide what hues are right for each song and how to best apply them.  Check out this video to get a sample of my playing:

Skills

  • 20 years playing experience
  • Mastery of rock, pop, jazz, and funk drumming styles
  • Experience reading charts for shows as well as learning music “by rote”
  • Completed two recording projects – one live and one in-studio
  • Familiarity with in-ear monitoring
  • Good understanding of playing with and without a click track or backing tracks
  • Large inventory of percussion instruments allows me to customize my sound for each setting.
  • Energetic passion for each performance while being sensitive to the atmosphere and other performers

Education

Scholastic Performance Groups

  • Kansas State University Marching Band
  • K-State Pep Band
  • K-State Percussion Ensemble
  • K-State Concert Band
  • Argon Rebels Indoor Drumline
  • K-State Singers
  • Flute Juice jazz combo

Classical Performance Groups

  • 1997-1998, 2000-2002: Hutchinson Symphony Orchestra

Musicals

  • And the World Goes ‘Round – Sterling College – 2000
  • The Music Man – Tabor College – 2001
  • Aida – Music Theater for Young People – 2008
  • The Wedding Singer – Wichita East High School – 2009
  • Grease – Music Theater for Young People – 2009
  • Once Upon a Mattress – Wichita East High School – 2009
  • Children of Eden – Maize high School – 2010
  • Footloose – USD 259 All-District – 2010
  • Children of Eden – Music Theater for Young People – 2010
  • Rent – Music Theater for Young People – 2010
  • All Shook Up – Music Theater for Young People – 2011
  • Into the Woods – Wichita East High School – 2011
  • Annie – Music Theater for Young People – 2011
  • Ragtime – Wichita East High School – 2011
  • White Christmas – Crown Uptown Professional Dinner Theater – 2011
  • The Wizard of Oz – Crown Uptown Professional Dinner Theater – 2012
  • You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown – Crown Uptown Professional Dinner Theater – 2012
  • A Chorus Line – Crown Uptown Professional Dinner Theater – 2012
  • Next to Normal – Crown Uptown Professional Dinner Theater – 2012
  • Sweeney Todd - Crown Uptown Professional Dinner Theater – 2012
  • White Christmas - Crown Uptown Professional Dinner Theater – 2012

Other Performances

  • 2001 – 2002: Skelletones 60′s rock band
  • 2007 – Present: Primary drummer for NewSpring Band at NewSpring Church
  • 2008, 2010-2012: Nights of Broadway musical revue, Wichita East High School
  • 2010: Nights of Glee musical revue a la Fox’s GLEE tv show, Wichita East High School
  • 2009 – 2011: Stars end of year talent show, Wichita East High School
  • 2011: Founder of 4 Guys (Who Don’t Play Jazz) – Jazz Quartet

References

  • “I have hired John for every musical production I’ve conducted since 2008 and will continue to do so. He is an excellent musician, always sensitive to his surroundings and always creative.” Jesse Warkentin, Musical Director
  • “I can highly recommend John for any gig. He’s versatile, creative, and focused. You can always count on him being thoroughly prepared and ready to bring a fresh new groove to a song. John is more than simply a great drummer, he’s a great musician. There’s a HUGE difference.”  Lance Cummins, Worship Pastor Newspring Church, 2005 – 2010