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9th Annual Donn Bennett Summer Drum Camp

Article by Sean Mitchell // June 19 2012
9th Annual Donn Bennett Summer Drum Camp

Donn Bennett is a name synonymous with drums and drumming in the US, and the Donn Bennett Drum Studio houses some of music’s most famous drum sets. But drums aside, Donn gives so much more to the drummers of Washington.

This year Donn Bennett Drum Studios is host to the 9th Annual Summer Drum Set Camp. The camp takes place at Donn’s studio in Bellevue Washington from July 9 to 13 and will include a surprise guest performer. Read on! 


Donn, tell us a bit about the drum set camps you run. How did they get started? 

We’ve been doing the camp for about 10 years now. It’s basically a week long immersion in all things drum set. We have one-on-one lessons and group time all day. We have some famous guest teachers that teach a segment every day. We cover a whole range of styles. We want to give drummers intense instruction in their favorite styles, plus introduce them to new stuff they have not tried before. 

What has been the feedback from attendees? 

People love it. For most drummers the chance to immerse themselves in nothing but drums for a whole week is a dream come true. When you’re this focused for a whole week you can’t help but get a lot better and expand your drumming knowledge and skills. 

Where is the camp located and how can one find more info about signing up? 

The camp takes place here at our studio. We have a large theatre in our building plus a rehearsal studio next door. We basically take over the building for a week.(Click here to find out more -publisher's note)

I hear you have a special addition this year to the camp. Can you let us in on the secret? 

I can tell you part of it. Gregg Bissonette has invited our attendees to meet up with him on a very major tour that he’s coming to town with. That’s all I can say now. 

In addition to the camps, you have an incredible list of educators and some big names as well. Tell us about your faculty. 

We’ve been here for 16 years. We started out as just a drum school, with me as the only teacher. Now we have 12 teachers and one of the most highly regarded drum shops in the country. We’re very fortunate that there are a lot of very famous drummers that live in the area who have been good enough to share their experiences with our students and customers. We also deal with many of the world’s top drummers through our store and have been able to invite many of them to teach here when they come to town. Honestly, I get amazed at some of the famous drummers that walk through our doors on a regular basis. We’re kind of off the beaten path and all of these great drummers keep finding their way here. 

Your company hosts some incredible classes. Can you tell us a bit about the classes DBDS offers? 

I try to offer classes that are interesting and relevant to drummers needs. Our teachers are really the ones who usually come up with the ideas for the classes. Because we have a very large and faithful customer base we can put together a class and fill it up relatively easy. As long as we keep putting together quality, relevant programs then people keep signing up. 

Any hints as to who will be a Woodstick this year? 

I wish I knew. This is our 10th anniversary and I want to make it huge. I would like to get the drummers that were at our first one: Alan White, Bun E. Carlos, Michael Derosier and Jeff Kathan. Bun E. said he’ll do it. The others will depend on their touring schedules—which they don’t know yet. I’ve invited Steve Jordan and Matt Chamberlain. Both are waiting on tour schedules. Suffice it to say there will be some major players and it will be loud!

Visit Donn Bennett's Drum Studio online at www.bennettdrums.com



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About the Author
Sean Mitchell

Sean Mitchell has been an active participant in the drumming industry for over 20 years. He has studied under Crash Test Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge and Drumming's Global Ambassador Dom Famularo. Sean is also a songwriter and regularly performs with his wife (and singer) Jill Mitchell. Sean proudly endorses Aquarian Drumheads.

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