Diane Hirakawa


My passion for rhythm, music, and drumming began in middle school as a snare drummer in an all girl Ohio drum & bugle corps. On through college and into the 70's, I continued to "break through" past gender barriers by being accepted into a successful, previously all male drum line.
After a 30+ year break, I started drumming again with San Diego music and drum instructor Simon Das Gupta. While learning to navigate a full drum set, I was quite surprised my chops were nearly intact. Simon insisted I learn to read drum musical notation which has allowed me to learn songs at a faster pace.
My "Tom Sawyer" entry was not an easy song to play with a variety of time signatures by RUSH. Plus in our one and only rehearsal I edited sections due to lack of a keyboard, and added a creative double bass ending for the 3:00 contest time criteria. Recording live, without a metronome click, made it even more challenging. However, learning "Tom Sawyer" has been a highly rewarding project. I think my video friends would agree. (John Gravelle, Brian Mafi, and Desi Klaar.)
My influences still include: Rich Redmond's energy on the set, Thomas Lang's double bass work, Steve Gadd's rudiments, and certainly Neil Peart's time signature changes. I seem to gravitate toward classic and southern rock, but I've been exploring other percussion instruments to give more depth to my repertoire.
I want to thank UCLA kidney transplant surgeon, Dr. Jeff Veale, for his encouragement and confidence in me to "break though" kidney disease and continue living life to the fullest with my new kidney.

Drummer Di

Additional Information

Category: Drumset
City: Chula Vista
Country: United-States
Author : Drummer Di




  1. Love it! Truly inspiring. You go Diane!

  2. Hi Tony,
    I thought I already replied, but don’t see it on this page. Anyway, thanks for the comment. This is my 5th and last time to enter under drum set. BTW: My drum instructor is originally from Cambridge and attended college in London. My only complaint with the contest is on the last days they let sponsors enter someone. Last year we were in 19th, on the last day. But didn’t place in the Top 20, I think, due to sponsors. All for fun and we do get stupendous videos from our efforts out of Studio West and their great audio engineers and videographer. Good Luck! Drummer Di (Diane Hirakawa, Chula Vista, CA.)

  3. Hi Diane, glad to see you back this year. Very nice work. Thanks for being an icebreaker for the rest of us.Hope to see you next year. Queenie

    • Did you receive my 2 messages earlier today? Hope so. Gotta tutor now, it’s after school time here. This might be my last time to enter. I sooo want to be in a local band and enter to get some recognition. But in 5 yrs. it doesn’t see to be working. Time will tell. Again, I love your haircut AND video. Di

  4. Diane, they save info from one year to the next so all our friends who voted last year all have an acct… who knew. Still looking for voting button but guess it will appear closer to voting date. Proud of you!

  5. Go, Spanks! You’ve still got it! ❤️

  6. Nice job, Spanky! Good luck!!

  7. Great job, awesome drumming, guitar, bass and your lead singer = fantastic!!!

    Keep rockin mom!

    Brad (Diane’s son)

  8. You are awesome Diane!
    Susie Dunn

  9. Hi Diane, that was awesome! Keep it up, you rock!

  10. Loved it! You’re such a natural!

    Summer Herness (Martha Best’s Daughter)

  11. Thank you Summer. I’ve been drumming since age 12 and it sure does feel natural. Thanks for the compliment. And thank you for taking the time to register in this extremely “hard to register and vote” site. I’m losing so many votes, but glad you were successful.

  12. ?????????‍♀️

    • I just figured out who you are: toothless, swim, forgot hockey stick photo but did see USA. Thanks a bunch! 🙂

  13. Good luck Di! Wishing you the best!

  14. Great job Diane! Great song choice, not an easy one!

  15. Great work Diane! Who could imagine that we would be active in the music scene, after all of these years! Good luck with the voting!

  16. Diane, that is fabulous ?

  17. If you want to stay in touch my email is


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