Drum roll please... it's National Drumming Day

13 November 2020

This weekend it is National Drumming Day and to celebrate we spoke to Patrick King Welsh National Opera’s very own timpanist and drummer extraordinaire about his role. He shares his love of percussion and some thrilling news. We know there’s a joke in there but we won't make it, give it up for the king of patting the drums...Pat King...drum roll please…

How long have you been a drummer?

I started drumming from as long as I can remember, my dad had a kit set up at home and as soon as I could walk I was hitting the drums. My mum has a great photo of me in a nappy hitting pots and pans.

Do you play any other instruments? 

I used to play the cello up to grade 8 until the drums and percussion took over full time.

Do you ever have to improvise? 

In my work with WNO not really - I leave that to the improvisation experts! 

Who are your favourite drummers and why? 

Kit wise it would have to be Steve Gadd and also my old kit teacher, Ralph Salmins who played on the Robbie Williams Swing When You’re Winning album, it’s just fantastic.

What do you love about drumming in an opera? 

It’s the drama - I’ve never played an opera that doesn’t end with some sort of dramatic timpani roll. My colleagues often say I get all the best bits.

Tell us about your new drums... 

We’re all very excited to have taken delivery of a fantastic set of Hardtke timpani from Berlin. These have been custom made for us at WNO are they really are true works of a craftsman.  I visited the factory over two years ago and fell in love with the drums... I just can’t wait to share it with our audiences.