8th grade was when I started to play drums. I had been playing saxophone for a few years but I really wanted to learn a 'rock instrument' and my dad had a drum set. So I started fooling around on it and had a little band with my friends and at the end of that school year my dad said "If you want to be serious about it, I'll get you lessons." So I nodded my head and began to take lessons that summer.
The real game changing moment was second semester of my freshman year in high school. That was when the school baseball season started. I am a huge baseball fan and had played baseball throughout middle school and was eager to play it in high school. One day after school the coach called a meeting to discuss the season and said that the JV team (which I would be on my freshman year) would practice during the week and then only play double headers every Saturday. Now Saturday was when both my sax and drum lessons were and I was faced with a choice, do I stop doing the music lessons in pursuit of baseball or do I keep my music lessons and not play baseball? I gave it some thought and made my decision, I decided to pick music over baseball. Now naturally the coach was upset that I wasn't going to be playing for him. He tried to convince me, saying he would let me go early from practice so I could practice drums and do my homework, but the bottom line was the games would be on Saturday and I did not want to give up my music lessons for baseball. So I told the coach sorry but I have made my decision, I am choosing drumming over baseball.
Since then I have been playing drums for 7 years and continue to take lessons, I am currently a music education major at Willamette University and I play drums in the Willamette Singers jazz choir and percussion in the school's wind ensemble and its all because of that one day in high school when I chose drumming over baseball.
In celebration of Vic Firth Company's 50th anniversary, we've spent an entire year celebrating Game-Changing Moments in drumming -- including yours! To everyone who shared a story with us this year, thank you! Drumming is a shared experience and we are all brothers and sisters! Your stories have inspired us to continue making the best sticks possible and to continue changing the game for drummers everywhere.
We received thousands of amazing stories this year. Although it was difficult to choose only one story, we're happy to announce that Joe Russomano is our grand prize winner in the Game-Changing Moments contest!Read Joe's Story