Phillip Beale, a native of Chicago, Illinois began his musical career at the early age of two years old in his parents’ church choir. With the encouragement of his musical grandfather, Phillip would later go on to study Suzuki piano and violin. In high school, he was active in his schools jazz band and marching band, as well as Drum Corps. He was a member of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle corps as well as Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps. In 2001, while marching with the Madison Scouts, he competed in the solo and ensemble competition where he won best multiple percussion solo with a score of 99.3. As a result, Beale was featured in the January and August 2002 issues of Modern Drummer Magazine. He was also on the instructional staff of the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps in 2005. Phillip attended Northern Illinois University where he majored in percussion performance/jazz studies under Professor Robert Chappell, Associate Dean Richard Holly and Professor Ronald Carter. Some of the artists Phillip has had the opportunity to tour and record with are: Ray J., Wayne Brady, Euge Groove, Bobby Brown, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Michael Lington, Nikki Jane, Panoramic, Liam Teague, Eddie Henderson, Conrad Herwig Donald Harrison, Orbert Davis, Willie Pickens, George Duke, Victor Mendoza and Michael Spiro. His music was also featured in the motion picture "With or Without You" in 2003. He is also a member of the group Panoramic who performed at the 2003 and 2007 PAS convention with guest artist Dane Richardson and Michael Spiro. As a result of these performances, Beale has been able to travel and perform in such places as Taiwan, Italy, Trinidad, Japan, St. Lucia, Canada and Peru, as well as various venues throughout the U.S. As an educator, Phillip has been fortunate enough to work with or clinic some of the top drumlines and jazz ensembles around the country. Some of them include the Northern Illinois University Marching Band, Lemont HS, Waubonsie Valley HS, Normal West HS, Mira Costa HS (CA) and El Camino Real HS (CA). Phillip has a very active private lesson studio as well. Read more about Phil Beale.
Drumset Camp Online
This summer, unlock the many opportunities your drumset has to offer! More than a dozen of NIU's incredible and successful drumming alumni, faculty and friends from across the country will work with Drumset Camp participants online from the safety of home. Areas of study will include:
- Rock, funk, jazz combo, big-band, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, worship, theatre pit orchestra and experimental drumming styles with at-home drum-along Zoom classes.
- How to supercharge your hands with daily drumpad workouts.
- History of the drumset.
- Practice and rehearsal strategies.
- Videos of live and recorded performances of some of the world's most extraordinary drummers.
- How to tune tour drums.
- What to look for when buying gear.
- Recording strategies for social media content.
- How to navigate a career in drumming.
- Optional private lessons with camp faculty and staff.
- All campers will receive a camp T-shirt.
Participants will receive a pair of sticks, pair of brushes and additional study supplies in the mail.
Drumset campers may elect to take up to two private 30-minute music lessons during the week at an additional cost of $30 per half hour. You may sign up for the lessons when you register for camp or during camp. Private lessons are limited to teacher availability and will be assigned on a first-come first-served basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to participate in Drumset Workshop? You will need a reliable internet connection and a device with a webcam and a microphone for interacting with instructors online. Additionally, you will need a drumpad and a drumset with bass drum, snare drum, toms, hi-hat, ride cymbal, and (optional) crash cymbal. If you don't own a drumset but are interested in participating, contact our office for information about instrument rental.
Do I need to read music? No, but it would make the workshop easier and more enjoyable for you.
Do I need special microphones for my drumset? No, you will not need special microphones for your drumset to participate in this camp.
Our Drumset Camp staff includes more than a dozen accomplished NIU faculty, alumni, guest artists and area music educators.
Chicago based artist, Tom Benko is a teacher, performer and composer exploring electro-acoustic percussion, ambience and curated peculiarity. He has worked with Blue Man Group, Chicago Bears Drumline, Chicago Bulls Stampede Percussion Ensemble, Minor Characters, Kevin Presbrey, Greg Hyde, Sam Rae and Nirvana Tribute 'Smells Like Nirvana' and has released multiple albums including his latest album Rodina in 2019. As a teacher, Tom is director of Percussion at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois. He hosts an ongoing bi-monthly music series called Emanation at the Deagan Music Building. Tom is known in the Chicago music community as an innovative educational percussion artist. Visit Tom Benko's website.
Chicago area percussionist and educator, Douglass Bratt has performed at the Jazz à Vienne, North Sea and Montreux Jazz Festivals as well as noted Chicago venues such as the Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill and Millennium Park. Douglass Bratt received a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in music with an emphasis in percussion performance and pedagogy from Northern Illinois University, where he toured for three years in the acclaimed NIU Jazz Ensemble. Additional scholarship includes a bachelor’s in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and African drumming and dance studies with Ghanaian master-drummer, Frederic Kwasi Dunyo. Currently, Bratt is a tenured professor of music at Moraine Valley Community College where he serves as coordinator of Academic Music, instructor of applied percussion and directs the college’s jazz ensemble, concert band and percussion ensemble. A strong supporter of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), Bratt was host of the 2016 Illinois PAS Day of Percussion and for three years served as president of the Illinois PAS Chapter following six year term as chapter secretary/treasurer. Douglass Bratt also is proud to be a Remo Education Artist and Balter Mallets Artist. Visit Doug Bratt's website.
Jessica Burdeaux is a Chicago-based drummer for the pop-punk indie band City Mouth and for Naia Izumi, who won NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2018. Burdeaux was intrigued by the drums after seeing her brother’s first kit as a child and in fifth grade joined her school’s band. It didn’t come easy to her, but, she says, "I never felt so determined to get better at something." And she has succeeded in spades. Her drum covers regularly garner hundreds of thousands of views on social media and her lessons are top-notch.
The drums are Jessica's absolute biggest passion in life and have allowed her incredible opportunities such as sitting in with the 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers, her own Drumeo episode and playing with artists such as Naia Izumi and her band City Mouth. Jessica is motivated to play as much as possible and collaborate with other passionate musicians. Check out Jessica Burdeaux on Youtube.
Brandon Estes serves as Associate Director of Bands and Head Director of the Marching Redhawks at Naperville Central High School. He is an active educator, clinician and arranger within the Chicagoland area. A native of Houston Texas, Mr. Estes holds a B.M. in Music Education from Texas State University - San Marcos and M.M. in Music Performance from Northern Illinois University.
Mr. Estes' extensive drum corps marching experience includes membership with the Pioneer and the Madison Scouts between 1998 and 2002. In 2005, he served as Co-Arranger and Percussion Caption Head of the Blue Stars and in recent years has worked with the Phantom Regiment. As a rudimental performer, Brandon was a founding member of the Chicago Bulls "Stampede" Drumline in 2007 and maintained membership for seven years. Brandon is also in his 13th season as a performing member with the Chicago Bears Drumline, also serving as Director since 2011. In addition to his duties with the Bears, Brandon also serves on the executive board of the Pro Sports Music Association, collaborating with music ensembles amongst various leagues including NFL, NBA, MLS, MLB, NHL, CFL and XFL.
As an orchestral performer, Estes has performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Elmhurst Symphony of Elmhurst, Illinois as well as the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon and Hong Kong. Mr. Estes is also a founding percussion performer with the Chicagoland Educators Orchestra, under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Miller of the Air National Guard. Mr. Estes enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife, Natasha and their two beautiful daughters Bailey and Harper! Read more about Brandon Estes.
Born in Manhattan to musical parents, Iajhi has had music around him all of his life. Following in the footsteps of his father (Ivan Hampden) who has toured with Luther Vandross since 1987. He began playing drums at the age of ten in a North Carolina church behind his mother who served as the musical director for the church, while taking gigs in the area at 16, as soon as he was able to drive. Iajhi enrolled at North Carolina Central University two years later in 1997 and under the direction of Dr. Ira Wiggins began the journey into jazz studies. While at N.C.C.U. as a part of the jazz studies program he was privileged to perform at the Montreaux and Vienne jazz festivals in Europe, the White House on two occasions and also shared stages with Stanley Turrentine, Slide Hampton, Frank Foster, Jimmy Heath, Terrell Stafford, Nicholas Payton and many others.
In 2005, Iajhi completed a Graduate Assistantship to Ronald Carter (sax) At Northern Illinois University as a Liberace scholar. Professor Carter has taught many of the current young "lions" in the music scene today including drummers Montez Coleman (Rufus Reid) and Terrion Gully (Christian McBride) and has a working relationship with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center program as creative administrator. While at N.I.U., Iajhi was privileged to tour with the NIU Jazz Ensemble working alongside guest artists such as Donald Harrison, Christian Scott, Eddie Henderson, Dennis Mackrel and Red Holloway.
Shortly after Graduation Iajhi began dividing his time between Chicago and North Carolina while touring the country with a tribute band and holding a residency at the Pump Room Jazz club in Downtown Chicago. He later that year decided to relocate to the Los Angeles area under the recommendation of mentor Ray Chew. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 2006, Iajhi has had the privilege to be involved in various numbers of musical opportunities. He has performed on such notable television shows such as: American Idol, BET’s Celebration of Gospel, The BET Awards, MTV’s TRL, Last Call with Carson Daily, Live with Regis and Kelly, Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late show with Craig Ferguson, The Mo’Nique Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Rachael Ray Show and The View.
Iajhi has also worked and toured with artists such as: Lina (Hidden Beach) andre Delano, Ashley Parker Angel andy Vargas, Norman Brown, Alex Bugnon, Chante’ Moore, Paul Taylor, Gordon Chambers, Aly & A.J. (Summer Tour 2007 & Hanna Montana, Best of both Worlds Tour January, 2008). Macy Gray, V.V. Brown, Jessy J. (sax), Rick Braun, Euge Groove, Peter White, Mindi Abair, Paige Bryan, Nikka Costa, Rumer Willis, Lee DeWyze (American Idol). Iajhi plans to continue on the journey of life called music and letting the journey take him wherever it may. Iajhi Hampden is an establishment in the LA music scene and holds a Grammy Nomination for his work with John Legend. Over the past 15+ years he has toured and recorded with Macy Gray, Nikka Costa, Norman Brown, Engelbert Humperdink and Raphael Saadiq. Read more about Iajhi Hampden.
Adam D. Hill is a music educator and percussionist in the Chicagoland area. He received a B.A. in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music with an emphasis in percussion under the instruction of Kevin Lepper and Dr. Charlie Menghini. At Romeoville High School in Romeoville, Illinois, Hill is the director of percussion, assistant band director and teaches jazz band, music technology, music theory and guitar. Adam is also a member of the music faculty at University of St. Francis in the Music Technology program. He founded Pioneer Indoor and is the Executive director of Pí Percussion Inc. an independent marching percussion ensemble and has lead the ensemble to multiple WGI medals as their Executive Director. Hill spent ten seasons as a member of the Chicago Bears drumline and is currently the director of the Chicago Bulls Stampede Drumline. He was a member of Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps and spent several seasons as their percussion coordinator, caption head and arranger. Hill placed within the top ten for snare drum solo contest in Drum Corp International, Drum Corps Midwest and PASIC. In 2002, he placed second in the DCI snare drum solo competition. Hill received the "Dr. Rosanne Rosenthal Excellence in Teaching Award" from VanderCook College of Music, the "Natalie Stukas Hearing Conservation Award" and named a Pillar of the Community in Valley View School District. He has also performed at large music festivals such as Lollapalooza and North Coast Music Festival. Adam Hill is an active music arranger, judge, clinician and performer in the Midwest. He proudly endorses Innovative Percussion, Evans, TAMA Drums, Sabian cymbals, Gon Bops Percussion and Etymotic ear protection. Read more about Adam Hill.
Tom Hipskind has been playing drums for well over 30 years. He received his undergraduate degree in jazz performance at Northern Illinois University, where he played with the NIU Jazz Ensemble and accompanied many jazz legends, before doing graduate work at DePaul University and taking residence in the Chicago area. He has performed, recorded and toured extensively with many artists, such as Howard Levy, Kenny Werner, Patricia Barber, Fred Simon, Kimo Williams’ Kimotion, Heather Headley, Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band, John Elmquist’s HardArt Groop, Aaron McEvers’ M13 and many others. He’s a member of the Chicago-based jazz/fusion group Kick the Cat and is on the band’s latest CD, "Scramble." Tom is a highly-regarded studio musician, having recorded on dozens of TV and radio commercials, film soundtracks and record dates. He’s also found a home in Broadway-style pit orchestras, performing on Chicago-based productions of "The Lion King", "Shrek", "Dirty Dancing", "West Side Story" and "The Book of Mormon". He’s currently playing the drum part on the Chicago production of the multiple Tony and Grammy-winning Broadway smash hit "Hamilton." From 2004 to 2017, Tom was adjunct faculty in the music department at Columbia College Chicago, teaching private lessons and classes. He keeps an active teaching schedule out of his home studio. Tom plays Sabian cymbals and Vic Firth drumsticks exclusively. Visit Tom Hipskind's website.
Bernard Long, Jr. is a talented percussionist and music educator who began playing drums at four years old. The late Bernard Long, Sr., sensed Jr.’s love and feel for music and introduced him to the world of music. Bernard Jr. graduated with his B.M. in Jazz Studies May 2009 from Northern Illinois University under the leadership of Professor Ron Carter. Bernard, Jr. performed in the world-renowned NIU Jazz Ensemble touring with greats like Curtis Fuller, Clark Terry, Antonio Hart, Benny Golson, Rodney Whitaker and Peter Erskine.
Bernard Jr. graduated from Michigan State University May 2012 with his M.M. in Jazz Studies. As a graduate Assistant, Bernard, Jr. directed the MSU Jazz Orchestra 3 and performed with the MSU Jazz Orchestra 1. Bernard, Jr. graduated from Lindenwood University May 2016 with his MAT in Music Education and with his Ed.S. in School Administration December 2018. Bernard Jr. is a 2018 honoree of the Salute to Excellence in Education class sponsored by the St. Louis American Foundation.
Bernard, Jr. was the band director at Normandy High School from March 2014 to May 2020. Bernard, Jr. is an Adjunct Professor of Jazz drum set at Lindenwood University. Bernard Jr. is currently the band director at Madison Jr/Sr High School in Madison, IL. Bernard is a 2016 graduate of the Focus St. Louis emerging leaders’ class. Bernard is a board member for the St. Louis Civic Orchestra. Bernard is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, INC., 100 Black Men of America, (St. Louis chapter) and the recording secretary. Bernard Jr is on the Percussive Arts Society Education and Diversity committee. Bernard, Jr. is the percussionist for Third Presbyterian Church and the National Tour of Antigone in Ferguson. Bernard Long, Jr is a Zildjian cymbals Education Artist.
Juan Pastor began studying percussion under the tutelage of Eusebio Sirio "Pititi," master of Afro-Peruvian percussion. At the Concervatorio Nacional de Lima, he studied classical music for five years. After realizing his interest in jazz, Juan moved to Chicago to study at Northern Illinois University, received a Bachelor of Music and was part of the top jazz ensemble under the direction of Ronald Carter. He also studied under Greg Beyer, Rich Holly and Robert Chappell. In 2013 he received his Masters of Music from DePaul University studying under Dana Hall. During my tenure there, he was a TA in the jazz department under the direction of Bob Lark.
Juan have played jazz festivals all over the world, in Europe at the North Sea Jazz Festival, IAJE in New York, The Chicago Jazz Festival, The Lima Jazz Fest, Nicaraguan Jazz Fest and more. In addition, he has had the honor of playing with notable recording artists such as Howard Levy, Jimmy Heath, Fareed Haque, Patricia Barber, Ryan Cohan, The Chicago Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble CALJE, Ian Torres Big Band, Marquis Hill, Victor Garcia and many others. Currently, Juan Pastor is an adjunct music faculty member at Benedictine University and a Percussion instructor for the After-School Partnership Program at DePaul University. In 2011, he was commissioned by Elmhurst College to write a piece for the percussion ensemble. The piece, "Tiene Picante," integrates traditional rhythms from Peru with a more traditional percussion flavor. Chinchano is Juan Pastor’s band - a fusion of jazz and Peruvian rhythms. Check out Juan Pastor's website.
Ben Runkel is a versatile percussionist, educator and composer who seeks to bring powerful experiences to his audiences through the percussive arts. Ben currently serves as adjunct music faculty at Goshen College teaching applied percussion lessons, steel band and percussion methods for music education majors. Ben also teaches percussion lessons for the Goshen College Community School of the Arts and is the director of the percussion ensemble. Additionally, he serves as adjunct music faculty at Indiana University Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts in South Bend and also runs his own private studio. Before teaching primarily at the university level, Ben was the percussion specialist for Concord Community Schools for ten years where he directed and coordinated all aspects of percussion instruction and performance for students grades six through twelve.
Ben is an active freelance musician in the Midwest with several performances, clinics and guest artist appearances scheduled every season. He is the percussionists for the South Bend based new music ensemble, Ensemble Concept/21 and a frequent substitute with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. Ben has performed with Bobby McFerrin and has been a soloist with the St. Paul Civic Symphony, South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra, Windiana, Elkhart Municipal Band, Northern Indiana All-Star Band and the Northern Illinois University Philharmonic. Ben is also involved with NMC Worship, a worship ministry team based out of the Nappanee Missionary Church, serving as the drummer for conferences, live recordings and regular Sunday services.
Ben has worked with and arranged for many band programs throughout the Midwest. His marching percussion arrangements have been performed at the State Championship level and he continues to arrange and consult with many different programs each year. Ben was a member of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2006 and the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in 2005. He also instructed the Madison Scouts front ensemble in 2008.
Ben is proud to endorse many fine percussion companies including Mapex and Majestic Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets and Humes and Berg Cases. He is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society where he currently serves as Chapter President for Indiana, as well as a committee member on the Education Committee. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from Northern Illinois University’s School of Music. Ben currently resides in Elkhart, Indiana with his wife, Colleen, where he also is the business owner of High-Def Detailing, an automotive detailing business he started up and has operated since 2014. Learn more about Benjamin Runkel.
Chris Smith is a drummer, author and educator based in New York City. He has performed with a wide variety of jazz musicians including Randy Brecker, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dick Oatts and vocalist Patti Austin. As the drummer in the Birdland Big Band he performs every Friday at the world-famous NYC club. Additionally he plays frequently at venues such as Smalls, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and the Jazz Standard. Chris is an active recording artist, with saxophonist Dick Oatts’ album Use Your Imagination (SteepleChase) serving as a recent and prime example of his drumming.
Chris loves researching jazz history and is a published author. His book The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis is the only biography on drummer Mel Lewis. Available from the University of North Texas Press, the book presents a refined model for biographical research on a drummer by combining a complete biographical history with transcriptions, musical analysis and a discography.
A passion for teaching is reflected in his frequent work as a clinician. Most recently he has given drum clinics at the University of Connecticut, University of Nebraska-Omaha and USDAN Camp for the Arts and the Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival. His higher education teaching experience includes a previous jazz faculty appointment at the University of Northern Colorado. Currently he offers online instruction through The Drum Hang on his website. Chris has earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Music in Jazz Arts from Manhattan School of Music and a Doctorate in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. Read more about Chris Smith.
Founder of GirlsMarch.Org, Raychel Taylor is dedicated to creating a more positive environment for young women in music to discover their voice. A native Californian, Raychel went on to earn bachelor of music degrees in performance and theory from the University of North Texas, as well as a master of music degree from Northern Illinois University. Her percussive explorations began with her experiences in Drum Corps International groups Sacramento Mandarins (2008-2009), Phantom Regiment (2010) and Santa Clara Vanguard (2011). In addition to teaching front ensembles in the greater Northern Illinois area, now Raychel directs the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Percussion Ensemble, teaches private percussion lessons, performs regularly with berimbau world music sextet Projeto Arcomusical and plays percussion for Salsa del Norte. Read more about Raychel Taylor.
Fulbright Scholar, drummer, educator, clinician, author and health coach, Shirazette Tinnin was born and raised in North Carolina. Her early influences were gospel music, R&B and soul music. Her stylistic influences would eventually expand into jazz, rock and music from many parts of the African diaspora.
A graduate of Appalachian State University, Shirazette studied with Todd Right, Dr. Rob Falvo, Rick Dilling and Scott Meister. She studied and continues to be mentored by drummers Cindy Blackman, Lewis Nash, Terri Lynne Carrington, Ernie Adams and more. Shirazette received a full scholarship for drum set and jazz pedagogy from Northern Illinois University, where she studied with Ron Carter.
A 2008 recipient of The Sisters in Jazz Collegiate All-Stars for IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) Award, Shirazette has also taught on the collegiate level at Columbia College in Chicago. Currently residing in New York City, Shirazette was the house drummer for The Meredith Vieira Talk Show, Season 1 on NBC.
Shirazette performs and tours frequently with premier bands and artists such as the Allan Harris Group, Tia Fuller Quartet, The Mimi Jones Band, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble, Toshi Reagon, Women of the World Ensemble, Yuri Juarez, Queen Esther, Gabriel Algeria Afro Peruvian Sextet, Camille Thurman, Sydnee Winters, Natalie Douglass and many others. Shirazette is also the leader of her own projects including the Shirazette and Sonic WallPaper Fusion Band (formally known as The Shirazette Experiment) and The Blue Popped Culture Trio.
Shirazette is an active clinician, educator, mentor, composer, a certified personal trainer and published author. She is passionate about preserving the health, wellness, stamina and integrity of her craft. Her articles about performance and health advocacy have been featured in Modern Drummer and Tom Tom Magazine.
Shirazette is endorsed by Canopus Drums, Vic Firth, LP Music and Sabian. Visit Shirazette Tinnin's website.
Melissa Wang (student assistant)
|Tuesday - Friday|
|10 a.m.||Classic drumset videos, welcome, warmups|
|10:30 a.m.||Rock I|
|11 a.m.||Jazz I|
|11:30 a.m.||Special guests|
|12:30 p.m.||Hand workout on drumpad|
|1:30 p.m.||Special guests|
|2:30 p.m.||Rock II|
|3 p.m.||Jazz II|
|6:30 p.m.||Optional evening performances and special guests|
|Tuesday - Friday|
|10 a.m.||Classic drumset videos, welcome, warmups|
|10:30 a.m.||Jazz I|
|11:30 a.m.||Special guests|
|Noon||Hand workout on drumpad|
|1 p.m.||Rock/Funk I|
|1:30 p.m.||Special guests|
|2:30 p.m.||Jazz II|
|3:30 p.m.||Rock/Funk II|
|6:30 p.m.||Optional evening performances and special guests|
|10 a.m.||2021 NIU Drumset Camp online review with Phil and Ben|
|11 a.m.||Careers in Music|
|11:30 a.m.||NIU Alumni Quartet showcase concert with camp faculty|
|12:30 p.m.||End of camp meeting|
- Summer in the Arts
Contact UsCollege of Visual and Performing Arts
Office of External Programs
Music Building 132
Online Office HoursMonday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(lunch from noon – 1 p.m.)
To protect the safety of our staff, students and families, we will operate remotely until further notice. Our staff will be available at their remote offices during normal NIU business hours and can be contacted via phone or email.Join Our Camps Mailing List