Dare to Drum: Music and Drama in Dallas, Texas

By D. SCHWARTZ/CineSource Magazine August 25, 2017

John Bryant’s “Dare to Drum” follows the creation of a piece of music entitled: ‘Gamelon D’Drum’ described as a musical synthesis of pitch, rhythm, and orchestration, performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. A group of Texas-based professional percussionists called D’Drum conceived and produced this project with an idea to expose audiences to percussion instruments from around the world. In addition to securing the Dallas Symphony, the group signed on prolific film composer Stewart Copeland for the music.

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A Fascinating Documentary About A Musical Group That Marches To The Beat Of Their Own Drums.


As a composer, first time writer/director John Bryant delivers a wonderfully engaging documentary film about a subject that is near and dear to his heart: world percussion music. Dare to Drum is a fascinating story of how a Dallas-based world percussion group called D’Drum sought to utilize their world travels and create a wholly original piece of music that they would record and perform. This led to them partnering with composer, and renowned drummer of the world-famous rock band The Police, Stewart Copeland, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Jaap van Sweden.

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Dallas Symphony Finally Premieres Stewart Copeland Percussion Concerto

By SCOTT CANTRELL / Classical Music Critic, Dallas Morning News

The audience fairly exploded Saturday night in the most uproarious ovation I can remember at a Dallas Symphony Orchestra classical concert. It came at the end of a new work for “world percussion” and orchestra by Stewart Copeland… Titled Gamelan D’Drum , the 37-minute, three-movement piece was commissioned by the DSO for the local percussion ensemble D’Drum.

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The Dallas Symphony’s delayed Stewart Copeland percussion premiere was worth the wait.

by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs
published Sunday, February 6, 2011

“Usually, a world premiere causes a bit of a ripple, but when the composition is by a rock star, it is a tsunami….Stewart Copeland, drummer for The Police,

“Gamelan D’Drum for World Percussion and Orchestra.” …The audience loved every minute of it and Copeland was given an ovation that Puccini would have envied after the premiere of Butterfly.

…fueled by the soaring excellence of the Dallas Symphony and conductor Jaap van Zweden, Copeland’s creativity bloomed into true fine art, with D’Drum as the inspiration for it all.”

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After Two-Day Delay, Copeland, D’Drum Debut Sophisticated Concerto

By Wayne Lee Gay, D Magazine

“…This is a work one could easily imagine in the other great concert halls of the world, with all of the major orchestras. The extreme specialization and expertise required by the solo ensemble may limit it to performances involving D’Drum in particular, which, on the other hand, can turn out to be an advantage….The Dallas Symphony should certainly consider presenting follow-up live performances as soon as possible.”

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D’Drum with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center February 5, 2011

By Darryl Smyers, Dallas Observer

“… the sections were amazingly synchronized movements that were more akin to meditative practices than a symphonic concert… In the end, it was a fascinating night of unconventional music. I was very surprised that the normally conventional symphony crowd embraced Copeland’s work as much as it did. Indeed, at night’s end, Copeland and the D’Drum ensemble were showered with applause for nearly 10 minutes, and brought back onto the stage four times for further adoration.”

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Gamelan D’Drum World Premiere


“…Copeland humbly grinned like a thrilled Cheshire cat at the end of an incredible concert… The applause from the audience seemed unending as the crowd remained on its feet demanding that the percussionists continue returning to the stage for a total of four onstage bows… (Gamelan D’Drum)… seem to guide listeners on a journey to a surreal, exotic, faraway land. It’s transcending, reflective, and fascinating. And so varied.”

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One Night Only: Gamelan D’Drum

by Amy Martin

“Truly a milestone in both the band’s and Copeland’s careers ….Possibly no other composer today could have blended so seamlessly a global improvisation-based percussion ensemble with orchestra. …..A true testament to van Zweden’s depth of skills that he so gracefully fused improvisational percussion and scored orchestra. His intense focus on the band’s spontaneity was thrilling to behold.”

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