Dave Kallaway loves funk music. It doesn’t matter whether he’s playing it as the morning host on hit music 99.5 WIFC, or banging it out on his own five-piece drum set. The central Wisconsin native has been an enthusiastic drummer since grade school, when his parents got him a set at K-Mart. So, when a group at his radio station began looking for ways to help their listeners pass the time in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdown, Kallaway knew immediately what he would do.
“I used to teach drums back in high school, so offering online drum lessons was a natural fit,” he said. “Our listeners obviously love music, and drumming is a fun way to pass the time, even if you only have a practice pad. I saw this as a way for people to entertain themselves and learn something new.”
When it came to finding a place to video his drum lessons, Kallaway turned to JEM Productions, having worked on some of the fundraisers that the company had live streamed from its warehouse-turned-studio facility. “I appreciate the way Joe Ellis and his team at JEM have stepped up following the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said. “They’ve been doing great things online to raise money for groups like Blessings in a Backpack that are handing out meals during this challenging period.”
The JEM team positioned Kallaway and his drum set in a corner of the 40’ wide by 30’ deep studio section of the company’s warehouse. The DJ-turned-percussion instructor was videoed from different camera angles to add depth and variety to the production. Also enlivening the visual presentation and endowing it with dynamic looks was a collection of CHAUVET Professional Rogue R2X Spot, Rogue R1 Wash and Rogue R1 Beam fixtures, along with STRIKE 4 and COLORado I-Quad Zoom Tour fixtures.
Arranged in a column behind the drum set, four of the eight STRIKE 4 fixtures provided a compelling and consistent visual element during the video production, holding attention on Kallaway without ever distracting from his lessons. The Rogue fixtures provided colorful light patterns and crisp gobos that enhanced the quality of closeups as well as wide angle shots. “Without question, the lighting made the whole production more attractive,” said Kallaway. “Background is everything in productions like these. It conveyed the message to viewers that we cared about the quality of what we were offering them.
What Kallaway is offering to viewers is a collection of 12 under-two-minute videos that are being released in segments on the 99.5 WIFC Facebook page and website. The videos entertain as they offer practical tips on basic drumming techniques. Will they inspire a lifelong interest in drumming similar to Kallaway’s passion? That’s hard to say, but one thing is certain, they’re making people to connect to their neighbors through music and light at a time when it is all too easy to feel isolated.