Natasha Hoskins

Natasha Hoskins

The beat goes on

Two Nanaimo high school students the first female drummers to win national awards

Thanks to women of previous generations, millions of Canadian girls grow up knowing they can do or be whatever they choose.

They can be businesswomen, carpenters, caregivers or artists – so no one told Natasha Hoskins or Rachel Skeeles they couldn’t be drummers in their high school band.

The Grade 12 and 11 students, respectively, won top drummer awards at MusicFest Canada, the national music festival and competition in Ottawa last week.

Hoskins won Outstanding Combo Drummer Award while Skeeles took home Outstanding Drumset Player Award – the first time female students won drum awards. It’s also the first time students from the same school won top drummer awards.

“I don’t know why it’s a guy’s instrument,” Skeeles said. “You don’t need to be aggressive to play the drums.”

Rock and metal bands often have a certain type of drummer as part of the image – one that’s not always accurate for music, said Hoskins.

“You don’t have to have huge muscles or tattoos,” she said.

The awards came with a set of four Zildjian A custom cymbals with case.

Although they don’t have many female role models ahead of them, they do see younger female drummers coming behind them.

“It seems like it’s just getting popular in our generation,” Skeeles said.

Hoskins agreed, adding, “It’s exciting that there’s more of us out there.”

Hoskins took up the drums in Grade 9, when another student graduated and left a spot in the percussion section open.

“I said to Carmella [Luvisotto, Welling band teacher], I think I could do this,” Hoskins said. “I watched the other drummers in the school and I just fell in love with it.”

For Skeeles, it’s her third instrument. She said the Nanaimo music community is supportive, such as teacher and musician James McCrae.

The young women also benefit by travelling to events like MusicFest or the Idaho Jazz Festival where they see top-notch performers from across the continent.

Skeeles has another year to decide what to do after graduation, and while music will always be part of her life, her career interest lies elsewhere.

“I like a lot of things,” she said. “I’m really passionate about the environment.”

Hoskins, however, is going to take full advantage of a partial scholarship to Capilano College that she won at the Kelowna Jazz Festival to study music.

Both encourage more young women to try out the drums.

“You never really know what’s going to happen,” Hoskins said.

More Wellington students picked up awards at MusicFest, including:

McCartie Combo, Manns Quartet, Gunn-Rey Duo and Senior Jazz Band won gold;

Grade 11 tenor sax player Josh Rey won a scholarship to the Douglas College Summer Jazz Intensive;

Grade 12 vocalist Amy McCartie, Hoskins and Skeeles received $1,000 scholarships to Humber College in Toronto;

McCartie, who also plays baritone saxophone, received a $1,000 scholarship to Vancouver Island University and was also selected prior to the competition to play in the Yamaha All Star Band.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Vancouver Island man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read