Vanessa Goerisch, Reporter

Big Beat Collective is a club at West High School that is dedicated to drumming.  The club meets every Friday at lunch in Joe Schumacher’s room, Room 41.  The club is very relaxed and easygoing, and new members are always welcome.

Joseph Schumacher enjoys sponsoring Big Beat Collective, also known as Drum Club because of “the positive energy that it promotes and … because it’s a club where there’s… not really any rules or expectations other than people just want to come in and create good beats.”  He would describe Big Beat Collective as a “fun, upbeat, and easygoing” club.

Drum Club started in Schumacher’s Science Fiction class.  After class presentations, he and some of the students would clap rhythmically for up to five minutes.  After that, he and some of the other students brought drums and would play during class, but the other teachers found this to be disruptive.  So, they decided to formalize it and make it an official club.  Since then, students have brought in more drums and the club has grown.  In the average Drum Club meeting, there are about four regular members, and other people will often join in.  Schumacher says that some of the members have actual drumming experience, while others do not.  The people in drum club are, according to Schumacher, rather courageous because it is a little bit embarrassing to play for the first time; however, once they start, they become part of something bigger and more complex than themselves.

Schumacher purchased about four of the drums.  The other drums were donations from students.  The student who founded drum club donated two drums, and there was one girl who brought a set of maracas from Morocco.  Schumacher thinks that everyone should know that “it’s really the simple contributions of individuals that create[s] the really complex rhythms that are so powerful that we’re creating.”  He wants people to know this because when people walk by, they are always amazed at the sound but too scared to try it for themselves.  Schumacher wants people to know that it’s not as hard or intimidating as it sounds.

Jackson Baker is in Drum Club because he has a “passion for drumming.” He found out about Drum Club while eating lunch in Mr. Rosser’s room.  He heard the people drumming next door, so he walked over and asked if he could join.  He says the atmosphere in drum club is awesome.  He says that there is “lots of noise, cool beats; it’s a really welcoming atmosphere.  They take anybody… new to the drums.”  He says that the people are very nice.  One of the challenges of being in drum club is coming up with new beats. He says that they are always doing repetitive things, and coming up with new ideas is the most challenging aspect of drum club.  Baker says the best part of Drum Club is “being able to drum at school.  Being able to get practice in, it’s nice.”

Esmeralda Santos has been is Drum Club since last year.  She would describe Drum Club as “a place for someone just to come and… be musically creative and to express themself.  You barely even have to know how to drum.” She encourages her friends and others to join.  Santos enjoys using the conga drums because they produce a solid beat.  She says that Schumacher created a special box called a gajone that gives more depth to the sound, which she especially likes.  She says that it is another way to keep her musical creativity going.  She says that Drum Club is her passion and it makes her very happy. She thinks that it is special because “It just brings joy into people’s lives, so I think that’s what makes it special.”