JJ Wallace named Young Drummer of the Year 2018

Jeremiah Joshua (JJ) Wallace, a Fifth Form pupil from St Albans School, has been named the Young Drummer of the Year 2018 in a nationwide competition.

Wallace beat 250 other young musicians to win the title in the competition’s final, held on 4th February at the Royal Spa Theatre in Leamington Spa.

One of ten finalists, he performed a two-minute solo as well as two live band performances to a panel of independent judges.

One piece was sent to each of the finalists ahead of the final; a second was released on the day. Drummers had a five-piece kit, hi-hats, two crash cymbals and a ride cymbal and all were allowed to bring their own kick pedal and drumsticks.

“Being a part of the Young Drummer of the Year competition really meant a lot to me as it is an event which I have worked really hard to be a part of and one that I have admired from a young age. I am honoured and proud to be the 2018 winner,” said Wallace.

Ian Matthews, Drummer for Kasabian, added: “It was such a privilege to be invited back to judge this year’s Young Drummer of the Year. The standard among the finalists was so ridiculously high making the whole event a real spectacle. My congratulations go out to Jeremiah Joshua Wallace for clinching first place, he truly has, like many of the finalists, a bright future ahead of him playing the drums.”

Another of the judges, Daisy Palmer, drummer for Paloma Faith, said: “JJ’s dynamic skill, feel and superb musicality struck me first. He also had a maturity beyond his years towards listening and playing with other musicians.”

Jonathan Gillespie, Headmaster at St Albans School, commented: “This is a tremendous achievement for Jeremiah Joshua; with 250 other drummers in the competition, Jeremiah Joshua’s success is a great example of what dedication and hard work can achieve. We will all continue to watch his development as a musician with a keen interest.”


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Founder/Publisher of UK musical instrument industry publication MI Focus.