I had the good fortune to build a snare drum for Toronto area Percussionist and educator John Brownell. We share the same last name but are not related in any way. I met John for the first time when he e-mailed me. His first message was about the coincidence of us having the same last name and me being a drum builder and him being a percussionist. We both thought it was quite interesting.
We exchanged a few e-mails and John decided he wanted to meet me and see what my drums were like. We set up a date and time to meet which was when he was performing in Saint Catharines which is near where I live so that worked out quite well.
I did some research on John and found he was a teacher at the University level. Teaching at The University of Toronto and York University John has performed with the Toronto Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and has also been a soloist with the Hamilton Philharmonic orchestra.
I have to tell you when I discovered who he really was I became very anxious to meet him and nervous that he might not like my product. Well the day finally came to meet John and I couldn’t have been happier. John turned out to be a very laid back person and a complete professional. He tried out several drums just tapping on them and then placing his finger on the head to dampen the sound a little and tapping again.
After trying out several drums he picked a 5″ quarter cut maple shell drum and said he would take a drum like it. We decided on hardware and staining for his drum I was very happy to know that a real professional percussionist would have one of my drums. And hopefully use that drum for his live performances.
I built Johns drum over a ten week period which is the normal time it takes to properly build a solid wood shell drum. Finally John picked up his drum. A few weeks later he e-mailed me that he was performing in my area again and could get me tickets for the show if I wanted to go. My wife and I were thrilled at getting the chance to hear John perform.
It turned out that John was performing with the Niagara Chorus and he was on his timpani drums for the performance and Andy Morris was using the snare drum. It turned out to be an excellent concert and the snare drum sounded spectacular. The music was very dynamic and the snare sounded really good at all dynamic levels and fit the music perfectly.
I got to talk to John and Andy after the show and they really enjoyed the snare drum. The drum sound was consistent through all dynamic levels and I was really happy to hear that John uses the drum for his live performances.
It was a very pleasant experience and I think we were both very happy with the workmanship and sound quality of the drum. John turned out to be a satisfied customer and that is what B.C.W. Drums is all about. If the customer isn’t satisfied we will give a full refund and take the drum back.