BIMM Alumni Takes Part in BBC Breakfast’s Drumathon

16 November, 2021

We’re delighted to announce that our very own Emanuel J Burton joined BBC weather presenter Owain Wyn Evans during his 24-hour drumming challenge. In total, the Drumathon raised more than £3 million for BBC Children in Need!

The 24-hour Drumathon involved Owain drumming non-stop day and night, beginning on Friday, 12th November at 8:35 am. Owain kicked off proceedings by drumming along to Celine Dion’s version of ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ and remained on the kit for the entire 24-hour period. He only stopped for short breaks, which allowed him to tend to injuries caused by playing for such a sustained period.

The highlight was the unique ‘Big Bang’ moment on the Friday evening, which featured a performance of the BBC News theme alongside an ensemble of 50 drummers. This ensemble included world-renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, Pulp’s Nick Banks, Cherisse Osei from Simple Minds, Steve White from Style Council, and Frank Benbini of Fun Lovin’ Criminals. The drummers were joined by Pub Landlord Al Murray, actor John Thomson and amateur drummers and enthusiasts aged from 8 to 83.

Catching up with Emanuel J Burton

Emanuel, who currently drums for Little Simz, joined Owain. Together, they performed a rendition of a track from Little Simz’s latest album, Point and Kill, featuring Obongjayar.

“It was such a blessing to be a part of this year’s Drumathon,” said Emanuel. “Coming together with so many different drummers and individuals to raise money and awareness for Children in Need was incredible and rewarding.”

Emanuel told us what music and drumming means to him – and how he’s seen it impact others. “I am very passionate about music being a healing art – I’ve worked closely with many individuals who suffer from disabilities, anxiety and depression. So I have seen first-hand, and even from my own experiences, how vital music is to help people see a brighter day.

“I’m dedicated to getting more involved with charities that aid in helping more children and people with disadvantages. I also want to get more clued up on the actual physiological and mental benefits drumming can have.”

How drumming makes a difference

Scientific research by Professor Marcus Smith (University of Chichester) and colleagues at the Clem Burke Drumming Project looked into the impact of drumming on the brain, body and mood. They revealed how the science behind the sticks is helping children with autism, special educational needs and disabilities across the UK. Now, Children in Need have projects that use drumming as a therapy to help young people across the UK. You can find out more and donate to Children in Need.


Discover more about our fantastic Drums degree and diploma courses. Alternatively, you can browse our Alumni and Student Success Stories to see how other BIMM graduates have taken the music world by storm.

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British and Irish Modern Music Institute