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Orange County High drummer will jam on with new kit

An Orange County High School percussionist will continue to jam after snaring his own drum kit from a raffle winner at the recent Lake Anna Jazz Fest.

Despite playing drums for the Orange County High School Jazz Ensemble, Travis Williams did not have his own kit to practice on at home.

That all changed when a drum set was raffled off at Lake Anna Jazz Fest 2022 where the ensemble and Williams performed.

The raffle winner, a former drummer who attended Louisa High School in the 1970s, didn’t need the set and offered to donate it to the Orange County High School jazz band, but Tommy Doss, the band director, said the school already had a drum kit.

While the school had its own set, the band’s drummer, Williams, did not. Doss asked whether the organizers could give the kit to Williams, who had played during the Jazz Ensemble’s appearance, and everyone agreed.

Robert McBride, the president of Lake Anna Jazz, made the presentation to Williams.

“I felt initial excitement and thankfulness, knowing that I would be able to practice drumming from home much easier,” Williams said.

The drums will beat into the future as Williams said he plans to continue drumming after high school, practicing and playing in gigs when he can.

McBride said the privilege of presenting the drums to Williams meant a lot.

“I know the thrill of being part of something and music and especially at that age, it means a lot to a kid,” McBride said. “If you’re in the band program, those are the kids you want to see in 10, 20, 50 years in all of the reunions, because you go through so much together.”

Lake Anna Jazz members work with areas schools, teaching masterclasses, helping with rehearsals and honing jazz chops, according to McBride. Of course, the concerts are also here to stay.

“We continue to try to bring really good music to the Lake Anna area and the shows will continue,” said McBride. “They’re always either free or heavily subsidized so that people can afford to get some really good music brought to their neighborhood.”


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