V-Drums Contest

Who is the nation’s best drummer? A new contest put on by Roland crowned a winner—Go-Go Ray of Kansas City, Mo.

“It’s been a long road; that’s all I can say,” Go-Go Ray said as he addressed the audience upon winning. “I made the prelims, started learning some things, did pretty good in Denver, and to win this is just unbelievable. All I can say is, ‘Thank you,’ and I hope you really enjoyed what was in my heart.”

The National V-Drums Contest, cosponsored by DRUM! Magazine, Remo, Drum Workshop and Blue Man Group, awarded the grand prize winner with the TD-20SX V-Pro Series V-Drums Kit, PM-30 Personal Monitor Amplifier, DW 9000-Series: Hi-Hat Stand, Snare Stand, Double Pedal, Throne, Remo Custom shell wraps and a featured profile in DRUM! Magazine.

“We have a long history of electronic percussion, drum kits, hand percussion and marching,” says Amanda Whiting, marketing communications manager at Roland. “And so we felt this was a great way to excite our customers and to get people who may not know a lot about electronic drums interested.”

Digital auditions were submitted through Aug. 31, and 15 participants for each of the 28 preliminary round locations were selected. One winner from each continued to six regional rounds, and the winners from each of those traveled to Las Vegas for the finals.

A panel of judges evaluated competitors on technique, style, stage presence, overall creativity, creative use of technology and effectiveness of performance.

The national finals in Las Vegas included celebrity judges and guest performances by Blue Man Group and Thomas Lang.

Visit www.rolandus.com/vdrumscontest to view finalists’ performances.

About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.

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