Community Music School
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  • Information
  • Guest Artist
  • Workshops

Drumfest 2013

DrumFest 2013

Saturday, August 17 from 9am-1:00pm
At The Music Center, Fremont Street adjoining the Davidson Building at Kellogg Community College.

**Register Today!!**

Community Music School presents its first annual DrumFest on August 17, from 9 am to 1:00 pm. Registration begins at $10 for current drum students in k-12 or college, and $20 for everyone else. Call Dinah Vaden at 269.963.1911x2585 to register today.

Presenters and workshop leaders include Dave Riddle, lead of the Battle Creek Central High School Drumline; Deb Hall, West African Drum Ensemble instructor; Bill Dowdy, Community Music School percussion instructor and frontman of the Bill Dowdy Jazz Trio Plus; Drumming Instructor Dennis Downing; and CMS Mentor teacher, James Earl McGee, Jr. See our Guest Artist page for more information on these talented artists.

DrumFest is a great opportunity for people who are simply interested in the art of percussion to those who are looking to learn new skills. This event is open to people of all ages and skill levels, however, we do ask that small children are accompanied by a guardian.

For questions or to register, contact Dinah Vaden, Community Music School - Battle Creek Coordinator by phone at 269.963.1911 ext. 2585 or by e-mail at


Dave Riddle
Dave is the facilitator of the Battle Creek Central High School Drumline.

Deb Hall
Deb has been studying drumming from West Africa for 9 years with local and international instructors. Deborah is an art and drumming instructor for Northwestern Middle School where her West African Drum Ensemble is approaching it’s 8th year.

Bill Dowdy
As a member of the Three Sounds Trio, Bill has recorded on the Blue Note label and is listed in Feathers Encyclopedia of Jazz. He currently leads Bill Dowdy’s Jazz Trio Plus. Bill has taught at Western Michigan University and Kellogg Community College.

Dennis Downing
Dennis has an Associates degree from Kellogg Community College and is attending Michigan State University Majoring in psychology. He has been drumline instructor for Maple Valley High School in Vermontville and Lakewood High School in Lake Odessa. He is skilled in many styles of drumming.

James Earl McGee, Jr.
James studied with Bill Dowdy at the Community Music School and now is a Mentor teacher at CMS while attending Kellogg Community College.





Session 1
Marching Percussion Fundamentals: Snare and Tenor (Dave Riddle)
Basic fundamentals, such as grip, stick heights, tap vs accent and 8's, will be covered. We will go over how the basics of X and Y axis effect playing. 

The Rudiments: A Learning Sequence (Dennis Downing)
Bring a snare drum or a practice pad and leave with a plan for learning all 40 drum rudiments.

West African Drumming (Deb Hall)
Experience the joy of West African drumming using the djembe and dun duns. Learn a traditional rhythm from Guinea West Africa, as well as a little history of this music.

Session 2
Marching Percussion Fundamentals: Bass and Cymbals (Dave Riddle)
Basic fundamentals, such as grip, mallet heights, tap vs accent, 8's, runs, Cymbal holds and positions will be covered. We will cover the importance of counting in Bass and Cymbal playing.

Jam for your Bread
(Bill Dowdy, James McGee, Dale Kinzler, Eddie Hollis)
Listen to jazz, observe jazz techniques, and learn some jazz history. No equipment necessary, or bring a drum to try out a few sample rhythms.

Drum Circle (Deb Hall)
If you’ve never tried this you are in for a treat! A drum circle is a spontaneous creation of music using hand drums and other hand percussion instruments. Any skill level is welcome from the person who hasn’t ever touched a hand drum to those that have been drumming for years. It’s about connecting with each other in a rhythmic way. We are all creatures of rhythm - come and give it a try!


To register, call Dinah Vaden at 269.963.1911 x 2585

or fill out this form and mail to:

The Music Center | P.O. Box 1613 | Battle Creek, MI 49016

*please do not send cash through the mail*




 Contact Us

Nancy Brown, Director
269.963.1911 x 2502

Dinah Vaden, Battle Creek Coordinator
269.963.1911 x 2585

Christianne Statler, Hastings Coordinator

Alexis Stark, Marshall Coordinator

 Locate Us

The Community Music School has three campuses; Battle Creek, Hastings, and Marshall.

Click here for maps to our locations

 Registration Info

Community Music School

Winter 2014

January 6- May 23, 19 weeks

Summer 2014

June 2 - August 22, 12 weeks

Registration open all semester

For registration and start up dates of each program please check out the pages for private lessons, Music First,and the Registration page.

 Financial Aid

CMS financial aid is available to families with under $50,000 in annual income. Other aid is available to qualifying families from area foundations and organizations. For more information, please contact the Music Center.

Some of the financial aid options are need based while others are not. Please call today to find out how we are able to keep music learning accessible and affordable for our community.

 Qualified Instructors Needed

National Guild of Arts Educators