Tahlia Williamson (age 15) is a naturally talented, self-taught musician whose giftings could only come from God. Tahlia’s first love is the drum set, but she is also passionate about all forms of music and instruments. Besides her multiple percussion instruments, she also plays acoustic and electric guitar, bass, ukulele, cello, and piano.
Tahlia’s mother recalls how she knew from the time she got pregnant that Tahlia would grow up to be a drummer, because she would always kick completely in rhythm while in the womb. Her favorite song to kick her mother to was “Digging on James Brown” by Tower of Power. This style still rings true in Tahlia’s great love for the jazz, soul, and funk genres, aside from her all-time favorite: contemporary worship music.
From the time she learned to walk, she would drum on anything in sight, exhibiting a natural ear for music. Her parents bought her a little toy drum at the age of 18 months old and she has loved percussion ever since. She began playing her first full-sized drum set at the age of 6 and could barely reach the bass and hi-hat pedals even with a special drum throne, but that did not stop her at all. She competed in her first elementary school talent show at the age of 8, and her groovy performance brought the house down. Tahlia’s relaxed and fun style has since graced many private and local Seattle area public platforms, as well as taking her all the way to “Music City” (Nashville, Tennessee). She is well loved in her local community, being repeatedly hired to solo play the main stage at her city’s festival each year. Tahlia also performs on marching tenor drums in her school drumline and is very active on her church’s youth and adult worship teams as well; playing drums, guitar, keys or leading vocally.
In her spare time, Tahlia teaches private drum and guitar lessons (often to students much older than herself). Tahlia has recorded at both Pacific Recording and London Bridge Studios, where artists such as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Alice In Chains, and Pearl Jam have also laid down tracks.
In addition to her musical endeavors, Tahlia works very hard to be an all-around great person. She is very active in serving her community. As a high school sophomore, Tahlia has already earned 3 varsity letters in volunteer service, all by helping others through music. She also takes her academic studies very seriously and maintains an honor roll GPA. She is enrolled to begin attending community college this summer, through our local “Running Start” program, with a goal of dually earning her Associates Degree in Music by the time she is scheduled to earn her high school diploma in 2021. From there she plans to go on to university to major in music with an emphasis in worship arts.
While Tahlia draws inspiration from many different drummers, she also states that the strong hunger to learn which her music students exhibit, also motivates her. What truly speaks to her the most though is observing those who have a true heart for worshipping God and loving the people around them, with one of her favorite musical groups being Bethel Music.
The backing track Tahlia selected for her HLAG marching contest entry is Magic Carpet Ride, arranged by Tom Wallace. This piece was chosen because her drumline recently played it in the 86th Annual Grand Floral Parade, also known as the Daffodil Parade. It is one of the largest parades in the Pacific Northwest, traveling through four different cities and covered live on television. Tahlia loved working with this piece because it is quick and upbeat with both challenging and joyful pickups for the tenors to play. Special thanks to Mr. Eric Ryan at Tahlia’s high school for graciously allowing her to borrow the quads to film this video.
Though you will always find Tahlia working hard at her craft and improving herself in music’s disciplines, unlike most musicians she has never once cared to find fame or become a pop culture icon. She is very humble and focuses only on the fact that she feels deeply called by the Lord to eventually become a world-wide touring drummer helping to ignite a revival movement of the global church’s passion through praise and worship. Outside of her musical goals, she can hardly wait for her sixteenth birthday, so she can earn her driver’s license 😊.