Hello!! My name is Reilly Noel and I have been playing the drums for twelve years now. I am 19 years old and currently a freshman at Wheaton College outside of Chicago, IL. Drums have been one of the most significant parts of my life for as long as I can remember.
I have played in school jazz bands since middle school and I am currently the drummer for the Wheaton College Jazz Ensemble. I am currently one of the lead drummers for Revive Wesleyan, the church in my hometown, as well as for Wheaton Bible Church, a multicultural megachurch outside of Chicago.
In sophomore year of high school I joined the punk rock band, Among The Wolves, where I was able to record music for Spotify as well as perform shows around Buffalo, NY. For the Hit Like A Girl contest 2020, I won the Musician’s Institute scholarship in the 13-17 category. This was an incredible opportunity for me. Despite everything musicians were facing during Covid-19, I was encouraged by my instructor (the drummer for W.A.S.P, Mike Dupke) to “keep at it”…and I did.
In this video I am playing “Mantra” by Bring Me The Horizon and “Motion Sickness” by Neck Deep. Since my college has only one drum set practice room, I decided to take a trip downtown to The Music Garage Chicago in order to find a place and a good drum set to record. My friends and I spent the day in West Chicago; we navigated the L train, rented the room (and a double bass drum pedal that I didn’t use in the song until I got there) and made through with late-night coffee and McDonalds. Despite the work it takes as a college student without a drum set, I knew I needed to submit a video, because sometimes “keeping at it,” is all it takes.
During high school, I traveled to Choma, Zambia Africa where I volunteered with the organization Poetice. While I was there, I discovered the incredible ways that music and rhythm connect us across cultural barriers. Around the same time I heard about the Hit Like A Girl contest and was inspired how it gave female percussionists a platform that I had not seen before. Being the one of the only female percussionists for most of my school years, seeing Hit Like A Girl motivated me to keep playing. Today it still reminds me that I have a place here, that all female drummers have a place here.