August 5, 2016

Drummer Snares a Snare

It’s not unusual when a major league baseball star player gets a signature bat or glove, but how often do classical percussionists get a drum named after them. Star drummers had their monikers on their drum kits back in the day, but today “there’s an army of signature artist snares on the market.” However, many or most of those are for popular music drummers - rock, jazz. So who in the orchestral world do you have to be to get your own signature snare drum today? Well, Will James, of course, the Principal Percussionist of the St. Louis Symphony and a New World Symphony Fellow from 2006 to 2008.

Will won the Principal spot at St. Louis at the age of only twenty-five while still an NWS Fellow in late 2007, taking up the position in the Fall of 2008. An active orchestral and guest soloist performer, Will is a member of the Symphonic Committee of the Percussive Arts Society, and also the author of the book The Modern Concert Snare Drum Roll, published in 2014.

A further highlight of his career occurred last week when the company Grover Pro Percussion, based in Woburn, Massachusetts, released the new Will James Signature Snare Drum.

“St. Louis Principal Percussionist Will James challenged us to create a snare drum responsive enough to win an orchestral audition, yet powerful enough to rhythmically drive a full symphony orchestra! The result of our collaboration is the Will James Signature Snare Drum. The impressive performance profile of the 4×14″ Will James Signature Snare Drum surprisingly exceeds its size. Incredibly sensitive yet percussively powerful, this is one drum that possesses a range of musical expression far beyond the expectation of a single drum.”

Will posted this remark on facebook: “I've been lucky to have several "pinch me" moments in my career. The release of my own signature drum with Grover Pro Percussion is something I never dreamed would happen! So happy with the finished product.”


photo by Lisa Scherer
Photo by Lisa Scherer


Click here to check out the new Will James Signature Snare Drum (and order your own!)
Will is also a signature artist at and
Click here for Will’s website

Share with: Facebook Twitter

Posted in: Alumni

Carnival Corporation & PLC Knight Foundation The Kovner Foundation City of Miami Beach Miami-Dade County Yamaha Artist Services Citi and Citi with Arc Design is a registered service mark of Citigroup Inc. Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Baptist Health South Florida