Drumming and Percussion
Originally from Wollongong, Derrick came to Canberra as a percussionist in the Royal Military College Band, Duntroon. During his 12 years in the band, he was also a member of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Canberra City Band, and Hall Village Brass.
Remaining in Canberra after leaving the Army, he followed numerous musical pursuits including playing in local big bands, touring bands and orchestras, as well as recording studio work, all interspersed with peripatetic teaching and musicological studies. He was Lecturer in Percussion at the ANU School of Music from 1982 to 1985, and in 1989 commenced teaching at Canberra Grammar School. Retiring from Grammar Music faculty in 2015 he is still directing some co-curricular groups at the school including stage bands and percussion ensembles.
Since the commencement of his “semi retirement” Derrick has taken on the Directorships of the Blamey Street Big Band and Cozmo Mandolin Orchestra. If these activities don’t keep him busy there are still a few jazz gigs to keep him occupied!
Always a passion for Derrick is playing in musical theatre productions and has played in more than 150 of these including: “West Side Story” “Chicago” “The Producers” “Miss Saigon” “Guys and Dolls”, and more recently; “Legally Blonde” “Phantom of the Opera” “Mary Poppins” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”. He counts some of the highlights of his career as: playing at the opening of Sydney Opera House, touring China in 1996 with the “Big City” showband, and playing in a backing band with Tommy Emmanuel for a tour with John Farnham. (Late 80s).
Derrick is really excited about joining the team at ACTAM and is keen to start sharing his enthusiasm, experience, and expertise to expand and enhance what is an already qualitative and respected institution.
Lessons with Derrick
Individual percussion/drumming lessons with Derrick are held at ACTAM studios in Fyshwick.
Contact us for availability and fee information.