As young man during the early 70's, Frank Corniola always dreamed of publishing his very own educational Drum publication. In 1976, Frank wrote his first book, Progressive Studies, a 130-page introspective study into drumset theory and technique. Unfortunately, the fruit of his labour was never publicly released, as the Author believed the text’s content was not original enough to warrant a viable alternative to the plethora of educational drum books that saturated the marketplace. Thus, the endeavour for invention continued.
Between 1979 and 1984, Frank was appointed Education and Feature Writer for the respected National music magazine, Journal of Australian Music and Musicians (J.A.M.M.). J.A.M.M. presented Frank the enviable opportunity to interMPview many prominent drummers and in turn, create camaraderie within the Australian drumming community and garnish respect from its peers. During this time, as an endorser for Paiste Cymbals and Sonor Drums, Corniola presented many National drum clinics and published two 16-page clinical books - Rhythm Section Drumming and Rudiments & Motions. The books proved to be an extremely successful educational tool amongst students and professionals alike, and gave Frank the impetus to embark on the monumental task of completing a “full study” work on Rhythm Section Drumming. On September 20th 1985, the 140-page publication, Rhythm Section Drumming (RSD) saw the light of day and was released independently through Frank’s own publishing company, Muso's Publications (MP). Undoubtedly, the advent of RSD (the first book of its kind in the world) was the springboard to Frank’s illustrious publishing career. RSD now holds the distinguished title of Australia’s biggest selling educational drumset groove book to date.
MP went on to produce, publish and distribute many other groundbreaking and landmark drumming books, videos and compact discs by Australian drumming luminaries including; ABC of Drumming (Serge Carnovale), New Rhythm Grooves (David Jones), Focus on Practice (Darryn Farrugia), Inspirations (Damian Corniola), Stretch (Virgil Donati), Analysis of Contemporary Drumming (Graham Morgan) and of course, Rudiments & Motions. Obsessive Drumming (Virgil Donati), Power Drumming (Virgil Donati) and Sight Reading (Alex Pertout) were also distributed by MP.
On January 20th 1992, Frank embarked on yet another project to open what has since been recognised as Australia’s worldrenowned drum and percussion retail and educational headquarters - Drumtek. But it wasn’t until 1993, when Corniola published the first “in house” Drumtek quarterly newsletter, In The Groove, did the method in his madness truly begin! In The Groove quickly proved itself to be a hit amongst Drumtek clientele. Sensing the need and apparent void for a National periodical, Frank’s journey to publish Australia’s own “Drummer’s Magazine” began.
On April 20th 1995, the hotly anticipated 1st issue of DRUMscene Magazine saw the light of day. Australia’s incomparable drumming superstar, Virgil Donati, proudly donned its cover and duly launched the magazine, in clinic, to a capacity and rapturous audience at the Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre in Melbourne. It was evident from the outset, that the Australian drumming community had embraced Australia’s newest forum with arms wide open.
In 1998, DRUMscene became a partner to the Corniola founded Vorticity Music - a Jazz/Fusion based touring and record company. Vorticity and DRUMscene has since been credited as the driving force and major sponsor behind a plethora of local and international artists including the Dave Weckl Band, OTV, Vital Information, The YellowJackets, Billy Cobham and Randy Brecker, Bill Evans Band featuring Vinnie Colaiuta, Kurt Elling, Chad Wackerman Band, Joe Zawinul Syndicate, Mike Stern Band featuring Dennis Chambers and Planet X.
Frank’s brainchild, The Ultimate Drummer’s Day, debuted at Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne on February 20th 1993 and has since metamorphosed into The Ultimate Drummers Weekend (TUDW), featuring the finest local and international drumming talent. TUDWwas the first Australian Drumming Festival to be recorded and released on DVD in 2002 and is acknowledged by the drumming world as a highlight and “must see” on its events calendar. It was Corniola’s intention that the weekend also fostered Australian drumming talent by playing host to Australia's Best Up & Coming Junior, Intermediate and Open competitions. TUDW 10 and TUDW 11 have now achieved the inaugural distinction of international distribution via the Hudson Music Corporation.
In 2002, Muso's Publications changed its name to Musictek - the current publisher of DRUMscene, and distributor of thousands of Drum and Percussion titles.
I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm. - Henry Truman
Nothing is achieved in one’s life without “sacrifice” and “vision”. From humble beginnings as a drummer and educator but with the sole focus and determination to recognise, credit and develop Australian Drummer’s and the Australian Drumming scene, (your) DRUMscene is truly indebted to the life work of Frank Corniola - a true pioneer of education and inspiration.
Congratulations Frank on ten incredible years!