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.
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.