Stevie playing the drums

Stevie in his natural habitat

When Stevie David isn’t volunteering for Orb, being a support worker for United Response or studying Mental Health at Leeds Met University, he’s a drummer. And he’s passionate about all things drum especially through his ‘EcoX music project.’

“I wanted to promote the drumming side and get Orb out there in the community … get [them] known for drumming and music not just for sound and lighting”

That was Stevie’s vision for the ‘drum clinic’ he set up back in February of 2010, an extremely successful event which took five months to plan and meant he had to organise promotion, book a venue, print flyers, stage plan, sound check and work cooperatively with other members of the Orb community: something that Orb is passionate about.

Stevie’s experience taking part in drum clinics elsewhere meant he could draft in support from  professional drummers Bobby Arechiga and Martin Ranscombe as well as drum maker Dave Nuttall. In Stevie’s words: “ [these] two sides of drumming: rock and session as well as someone who builds them for a living” gave the thirty people who attended the workshop different perspectives on the art of drumming:

“So it wasn’t just: OK here’s a guy playing – great, but how do they make them … we twisted it round to ‘how are they built?’”

During the workshop, people were shown drumming techniques, involved in audience participation, given tips on coordination and played along with backing tracks. Also in attendance were Orb band ‘Brew-ha-ha’ and local drumming talent Sam Hallet. The event was open to the public as well as Orb service users, drummers, guitarists and other musicians alike.

Bobby Arechiga playing the drums

Bobby Arechiga, guest at the drum clinic

Not only was the drum clinic a roaring success, it fitted perfectly with what Orb sets out to achieve:

  • offering activities to the community that promote positive mental health and well-being
  • increase confidence through team work and learning new skills
  • sharing talent between professional musicians and people with mental health support needs
  • creating an environment where everybody’s talents are valued and encouraged including those most vulnerable to exclusion

Do you want to take part in the next drum clinic at Orb?

Stevie as well as previous attendees are all for it, but the endless list of activities and time needed to set up the event means Orb need help and sponsorship to get it up and running.

If you want to get involved or your organisation would like to sponsor another drum clinic then we’d love to hear from you: either tell us about yourself in the  comments below or contact us through our web site.

This blog article was written by Chris Kenworthy: copywriter and photographer