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hit like a girl drum contest[Photo via Matthijs Smit/Unsplash]

The Hit Like A Girl drumming contest returned for its tenth year of competition. The international contest has been giving female drummers and percussionists a platform since 2011. In turn, it encourages drumming for girls and women regardless of their age or playing level.

Following the April 12 deadline, Hit Like A Girl is now revealing the full list of winners for the drumset and beatmaking categories. The marching percussion contest will begin in the fall with more information to be announced at a later date.

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As the contest’s name conveys, only those who identify as female are eligible to enter. There’s no age minimum as the contest is broken down into four age groups: under 13, 13-17, 18-39 and over 40. As an amateur contest, drummers and percussionists who make more than $50,000 per year playing music and have an endorsement contract are ineligible.

In order to narrow down the entries to the Hit Like A Girl finalists, a judging panel consisting of Sabian Education Network members chose weekly winners. Public voting and a Wild Card contestant were also factors for advancing.

Once the finalists were chosen in both drumset and beatmaking, a panel of celebrity judges including top drummers reviewed and selected the winners using score sheets. More than 100 judges were recruited including iDKHOW’s Ryan Seaman,  Emily Dolan-Davies (the Darkness, Cher Lloyd), Hayley Cramer (Pop Evil), Jess Bowen (the Summer Set3OH!3Tessa Violet), Nick D’Virgilio (Genesis, Tears For Fears) and Samantha Maloney (Hole, Mötley Crüe, Eagles Of Death Metal).

Each Hit Like A Girl contestant receives a certificate of participation upon request and access to the PowerPack digital goody bag. However, one champion and two runners-ups are selected in each drumset and beatmaking age divisions.

The prizes consist of $75,000 in items, scholarships and performance opportunities. Berklee College Of Music, Girls March, School Of Rock and the Joe Hibbs Memorial Scholarship have all contributed to the prize package. There are also performance opportunities at Sweetwater Gearfest, the NAMM Show, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), Girls Rock Camp (GRCA) and the Drum Corps International (DCI) and Winterguard (WGI) World Championships.

A champions livestream featuring some of the winners as well as Jess Bowen, Andrew Marshall and more will be hosted by Mindy Abovitz. It goes down on the Hit Like A Girl Instagram page June 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. EST, and you can tune in here.

Hit Like A Girl winners

This year’s contest received hundreds of entries from more than 50 countries. Nearly 100 women were chosen as winners. See who won below.

Drumset (under 13)

Champion: Kayla Zahra Fahira Permaa
2nd Place: Tang Yu Chiao
3rd Place: Milana
Popular: Evelyn Moreno

Drumset (13-17)

Champion: Yufengyi Li
2nd Place: Zoe Larios
3rd Place: Jordan Radnoti
Popular: Alyssa Tomassi

Drumset (18-39)

Champion: Lisa Chepkovskaya
2nd Place (tie): Drummer Subin
2nd Place (tie): Erica McElveen
3rd Place: Mihaela Naydenova
Popular: Mihaela Naydenova

Drumset (over 40)

Champion: Sheila Klotz
2nd Place: Michelle Pickering
3rd Place: Karen Newell
Popular: Jennifer Towns

Beatmaking (under 18)

Champion: Kallee Bernish-Good
2nd Place: Naisa S. Santana Rivera
3rd Place: Abbie Schneider
Popular: Kallee Bernish-Good

Beatmaking (over 18)

Champion: Chmba
2nd Place: Adee
3rd Place: Juanita Pelaez
Popular: Juanita Pelaez


China (under 8): YinXuan Lin
China (8-12): Celina Huang
China (13-17): Yufengyi Li
China (over 18): Rita Li

Japan (under 18): Yuuka AOKI
Japan (under 18): Mika Watanabe

France (under 18): Marie Francois
France (over 18): Clara Oulieu

Mexico (under 18): Zoe Larios
Mexico (over 18): Angie Salinas

SEA (under 18): Kayla Zahra Fahira Permaa
SEA (over 18): Shani Samtani

India (under 18): Rinay
India (over 18): Sonikblasts

Special Awards

Berklee “Aspire”: Stacy Norris
Musician’s Institute: Saralyn Chernishuk
Musician’s Institute: Reilly Thompson
School of Rock: Savannah Tweedt
Joe Hibbs/The Sessions: Romarna Campbell
Special Recognition: Georgia Challinor
Special Recognition: Amelia
Sweetwater Gearfest: TBD


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