A 16-year-old drummer from Penybontfawr has been tipped for professional success after making it to the final of a national competition.
Iestyn Jones was one of five to perform in the grand final of #FUTUREBEAT ‘17, a prestigious drumming contest for under-18s organised by Yamaha, the world’s biggest instrument manufacturer.
The Llanfyllin High School sixth form student, who has been playing drums for nearly 10 years, was named joint runner up after first winning the regional round in Cardiff, when he was presented with a Yamaha Custom Series snare drum.
At the grand final at Yamaha’s UK headquarters in Milton Keynes, Iestyn took centre stage after mentoring sessions with each of the judges – including drummer Ian Thomas who has performed alongside Tom Jones, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood.
Iestyn performed sections solo, with accompaniment to track, and in a three-piece live band with Yamaha artists Andy Jones on guitar and bassist Phil Laughlin.
Announcing their unanimous decision, judge Steve White said: “The standard has been quite incredible and what we have seen today in Iestyn is an extremely talented young drummer who I am pretty much convinced will, if he chooses, find a career in music if that’s what he’s prepared to put his efforts into.”
Although he narrowly missed out on the top spot, a delighted Iestyn said: “The competition was unreal to say the least!
“It gave me a huge amount of confidence and I’d recommend it to any young drummer.
“It meant a lot to me to be in the final and to be able to go through the experience because I doubt myself, and by receiving real criticism from experts in different fields of this awesome instrument showed me I need to have confidence in my own ability and know that I’m good.
“And obviously meeting awesome drummers Steve White, Mikey Sorbello, Andrew Small was a great privilege. Hats off to the others in the comp, they were unreal.”
Yamaha’s drum product marketing manager Gavin Thomas added: “#FUTUREBEAT gives talented and aspiring drummers like Iestyn Jones the opportunity for exposure in front of many influential industry figures.
“Iestyn’s performance was outstanding and we hope the#FUTUREBEAT experience can help kick start his career.”