Every now and again, something magnificent comes out of tragedy. Anyone who knows 14-year-old Grant Leslie knows that when it comes to the drums, he has amazing talent. But Grant was also diagnosed at birth with a rare condition called arthrograposis multiplex congenital, a condition that prevents him from bending his arms or his feet. It’s miraculous that he can even move his sticks enough to beat his drum set.
When Mother Nature sounded her fury April 27, 2014, all fell silent for the young musician. On April 27, Grant and his family were in the direct path of a deadly tornado which destroyed their home and everything in it. “Including my drum set,” said Grant. “That’s what I was torn up most about. My drumset.”
As a result, the West Little Rock Guitar Center, DW and SABIAN decided to step up to get Grant back behind a drum kit. But they wanted to make it a surprise. Here’s how it all went down.
Grant’s parents took him to the Guitar Center in West Little Rock, telling him they were simply going to look and dream about a new set of drums. A photographer in open view pretended to do an interview about a fake drum-off. The photographer asked Grant to play for the camera, so he’d have video to go with the story. Of course, Grant fully complied, eager to jam on what was possibly the nicest drum kit he’d ever played.
Once Grant stopped playing, Guitar Center’s Jeff Morgan stepped up. “Grant, on behalf of all of us as musicians, we got this kit for you. We heard your kit was damaged in the tornado, so this is your new drums, courtesy of DW and Sabian. This is your kit, your stool … it’s your kit!”
Needless to say, Grant was shocked! And there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
“I thought it would take a very long time to replace,” said Grant, “since our living conditions, we’re in an apartment, just thought it’s gonna take a long time to get a drum set back. It takes me away, can’t really describe the feeling I get when I play the drums.”
“Grant is a young drummer who, despite challenge after challenge, keeps making music,” commented Stacey Montgomery-Clark, SABIAN VP of Marketing. This is why along with DW Drums and an anonymous donor, we really wanted to make this happen for Grant.
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