Drummer Michael is upbeat about local talent scene

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TO celebrate a year in business in the town, drumming tutor Michael Wright is offering ‘MAIL’ readers free introductory lessons.

The 26-year-old professional touring and session drummer from Nashville started up Stateside Drum Studio in High Street after settling here with his wife Laura Kenwell, youth co-ordinator with Shankill Parish. The pair live together in Waringstown having met when Michael, was working as a drum tutor in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Michael told the ‘MAIL’ how his business has been going since setting up in the town a year ago: “Things are going well,” he said.

“I’ve got 20 regular students a week. Not all of them have drum kits of their own, but that’s not a necessity. The great thing about drumming is you can strike up a rhythm on a table, your lap, whatever you can get your hands on. The most important thing is learning rhythm.”

Over the last year Michael has been doing a number of workshops including some in the new YMCA building and at Maralin Primary School.

Michael graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts in 2008 with a degree in Music Business Marketing Management.

He has been playing drums and other percussive instruments for the past 14 years, seven of those years in a professional capacity. He has toured internationally and performed in 45 of the 50 states that make up America to crowd sizes ranging from 2,500 to 25,000 and has been signed to a major artist on Sony’s Christian label known as Provident Music Group.

Michael, now a member of the Jason Clarke Band, said of his adopted home town: “I really enjoy living here. I’m used to living in big cities, but I love the small town life.

“It’s only a five minute drive or a 15 minute cycle into work.

“The people are lovely. They’re very genuine.”

Michael pupils range in age from eight to 22 and in September he hopes to expand his net further to focus of music in schools and add more instruments.

To celebrate a year in business in the town Michael is offering readers a free introductory drumming lesson. To avail of the half-hour lesson cut out the voucher on this page and bring it to Stateside Drum Studio at 50C High Street - directly above Elizabeth Jayne House of Beauty.

For more information email statesidedrumstudios@gmail.com or call 0756 809 8344.