DRUM­MING UP:

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By JAMIE KRON­BORG

Monte Stamm and his fam­ily have the best of all views from their Beech­worth prop­erty above the Mur­mungee basin, but this highly-ded­i­cated young mu­si­cian also has an ex­tra­or­di­nary prospect – par­tic­i­pa­tion in next year’s world pipe band cham­pi­onships in Glas­gow. He’s ask­ing the com­mu­nity to help him to turn the op­por­tu­nity to re­al­ity with a $6000 fundrais­ing cam­paign.

A SCOT­TISH mas­ter per­cus­sion­ist who has won the world pipe band cham­pi­onship ti­tle on 19 oc­ca­sions wants a Beech­worth teenager to have the same op­por­tu­nity.

Jim Kilpatrick – the Royal Scot­tish Pipe Band As­so­ci­a­tion 16-time world solo cham­pion and three-time cham­pion of cham­pi­ons – wants 14-year-old Monte Stamm to com­pete in the world pipe band cham­pi­onships in the Scot­tish city of Glas­gow next year.

There is just one catch – Monte him­self needs to raise the $6000 re­quired to fund his travel to Scot­land and par­tic­i­pa­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion in Au­gust.

By any mea­sure he is young­ster whose skill and tal­ent seems bound­less.

On Sun­day he was stand­ing on the lawns of the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial in Can­berra where he com­peted in the bi­en­nial Aus­tralian na­tional and Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory solo drum­ming cham­pi­onships.

He achieved a back-to-back win – named the 2017 Aus­tralian and ACT solo drum­ming cham­pion in C grade after tak­ing the D grade ti­tle in 2015.

This com­ing week­end he re­turns with his older sis­ter, Matilda, to New Zealand’s St An­drew’s Col­lege in Christchurch, to which he last year se­cured a five-year par­tial schol­ar­ship with an all-time high col­lege schol­ar­ship en­try score.

Nine years have passed since Monte, the son of Beech­worth’s Sarah and David Stamm, be­gan play­ing the snare drum as a five-year-old at the Scots School in Al­bury.

Tom Mewett, the school’s tal­ented drum­ming direc­tor, taught him and he was men­tored and led by pipe band co-or­di­na­tor Scott Ni­chol­son.

But by the time he en­tered sec­ondary school Monte was drum­ming at such a high level that his fam­ily sought higher-rated play­ing and learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We couldn’t af­ford to send Monte to one of the pres­ti­gious Melbourne or Sydney schools where the pipe bands are of a higher stan­dard, but there are no schol­ar­ships of­fered in Aus­tralia,” said Sarah.

The fam­ily in­ves­ti­gated op­tions that ended in Christchurch with St An­drew’s Col­lege, which has the high­est ranked school pipe band in the western Pa­cific re­gion.

The col­lege band won the world ju­ve­nile grade cham­pi­onships in Glas­gow in 2013 – mak­ing it the world’s top youth pipe band – and is di­rected by in­ter­na­tion­ally-recog­nised piper Richard Hawke.

“This school also has a pre­vi­ous world cham­pion drum tu­tor, James Laugh­lin, as direc­tor of drum­ming and of­fers a schol­ar­ship,” Sarah said.

Monte said the op­por­tu­nity to learn from such a skilled mu­si­cian in one-on-one weekly lessons was “just awe­some”.

But be­fore his first year at St An­drew’s is out he’s been se­lected to play with the col­lege se­nior A band in the Glas­gow world cham­pi­onships next year.

He’s been busk­ing on Beech­worth’s main round­about and en­ter­tain­ing lo­cal peo­ple and vis­i­tors with light­ning fast stick-work in his cam­paign to raise the funds to get to Scot­land’s sec­ond city and has now set up an on-line go­fundme ap­peal with a $6000 tar­get.

Fam­ily, friends, New Zealand school friends, a Beech­worth cit­i­zen and the pipe band com­mu­nity have so far con­trib­uted $1130.

But there is one donor who stands out for Monte.

Cham­pion of cham­pi­ons Jim Kilpatrick MBE has also con­trib­uted and shared the fundrais­ing link on his so­cial me­dia page.

“Monte is one of the nicest young gentle­men you could ever meet,” Jim said.

“He is an amaz­ing drum­mer. I am help­ing him re­alise his dream be­cause he de­serves it.

“If you can, please help this young cham­pion.”

It is hoped that Beech­worth will sup­port this ex­cep­tional but mod­est young­ster at go­fundme. com/young-drum­mer-head­ing-to-scot­land.

PHOTO: Jamie Kron­borg

GOAL: Monte Stamm demon­strates his skills be­fore his par­tic­i­pa­tion in Sun­day’s Aus­tralian and ACT solo drum­ming cham­pi­onships, in which he se­cured a back-to-back win.

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