Star-studded Woodstick 2015 benefits Groove Music for Youth


Woodstock 2016 (Photo by Bill Bungard)

The annual Woodstick Big Beat at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, was a star-studded drumming spectacle. The event benefits Groove Music For Youth, a charity that provides musical instruments to underfunded schools and at-risk kids, and is presented in partnership with The Donn Bennett Drum Studio. Depending on the pledge level for participants, attendees could take part in celebrity drummer clinics, meet and greets with the stars, raffle prize drawings, and autographs.

The highlight of Woodstick was definitely the two hour drumming performance by artists connected to such bands as Heart, Foreigner, BB King, Santana, REO Speedwagon, Yes, Billy Idol, and more. The stage area was packed with drum kits, with drummer after drummer tossing it back and forth, showcasing different styles for the crowd.

The auditorium was also stacked with more drums for participants to bang on or just look at longingly (think of a car show for drum sets). All in all, it was a great day to be a drummer, with learning, viewing, and incredible performances all packed in together. A veritable drummer’s paradise, with the proceeds going to musicians of the future.

Christine Mitchell has been poring over album liner notes pretty much since she acquired the skill of reading, and figured out the basic structure of rock songs at an early age. Whether it’s the needle popping into the first groove of the record, the beeps that signal the beginning (or end) of a cassette tape, or digital numbers ticking off the seconds from zero, music brings Christine happiness, ponderous thought, opportunities for almost scientific study, and sometimes a few tears. When she started attending live shows two decades ago, a whole new piece of the puzzle clicked in and she has been hooked ever since.