• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theater and More

Drew Lang - Les Miserables

Drew’s setup for Les Miserables at the Wylie Theater in Dallas, Texas

Instruments in the picture below were mainly for Master of the House, which needed two different pitched tin cans and a copper pot (along with a cowbell). The two tin can sounds were a real cow bell from a farm supplier (had to remove the clapper) and a tuna can. The ceramic bowl was for a copper pot sound (only one hit). When It finally broke, I replaced it with a chrome-plated copper drum I bought from Harvey Vogel (from a set of 3). The small cowbell at the far right was just a back up. A Matt Nolan 4” Triangle and Zildjian Thick Finger Cymbal are mounted on their respective Miller Machines.”


This production of Les Miz was the first sanctioned “nontraditional” performance. Instead of being set in 19th Century France, it was set in what they called “Modern Day Future”. The only way they got the rights to do this was to keep the original music and dialogue. This production was directed by Liesl Tommy.

“For Les Miz, I went totally acoustic and luckily had plenty of space to work with (or so I thought). Instruments of note include the Cymbal Guy for the crashes in the Prologue (not written in the 2010 part), a Matt Nolan Trine, a 12” Sabian Chopper for the Trash Can Lid, and two Panyard ‘Tings’ for the brake drums. I also used four snare drums – a Yamaha 8”x4” Peter Erskine Signature Drum for the Gavroche character, a Noble and Cooley 14” x 3.75”, a Hinger 14” x 6.5” and a Majestic 14” x 12” Field Drum.

Here’s the drummy stuff. Three Ludwig Professional timpani (32”/29”/26”) to get all the pitches, a Ludwig 34”x18” Bass Drum secured to a keyboard X-stand, four Pearl MHX rack toms (8”/10”/12”/15”) five Rototoms (6”/8”/10”/12”/14”), a Tama Artstar 18” floor tom (using the new Pearl Multi-Fit BD Legs). Two Tings for the brake drum parts (under the BD between the Floor tom and lowest rack tom) and underneath the two lowest Rototoms. The Rototoms were mounted off of the rack tom stands to save space and get them in closer.

Here’s the bulk of the metal - a Matt Nolan Trine, 8” Zildjian A Splash, Sabian 14” Evolution High Hats, 10” & 20” Wuhan Lion Cymbals, 10” splash I got from an old ’40’s Radio King kit, Sabian AAX Extreme China, 16”, 19” & 20” Sabian Artisan Suspended Cymbals, a 12” Sabian Chopper and a 20” Wind Gong . . . along with my trusty old Abel Triangle with the Chrome removed. A Matt Nolan 4” triangle mounted on the Miller Triangle Machine and a Zildjian Thick Finger Cymbal mounted on a Miller Finger Cymbal Machine. Behind me was a 32” Wuhan Tam-Tam, a pair of 20” Zildjian Germanic Crash Cymbals mounted on the Cymbal Guy and two chime notes mounted on a rack. Hardware for the cymbal stacking were four 6” Gibralter Stackers (w/two attached together to make a 12” stack).

Drew Lang is a freelance percussionist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He is the percussionist for Casa Mañana Musicals and mallet specialist for the Dallas Wind Symphony. Drew also plays regularly with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Dallas Symphony and the Dallas Chamber Symphony - along with other regional symphonies and performing groups. He has also performed at the Winspear Opera House (Anything Goes) and the Dallas Theater Center (Fly, Les Miz). He was principal percussionist at the Breckenridge Music Festival in Colorado from 2004-2012.

Drew is adjunct instructor of Marimba at Southern Methodist University and percussion/drum set instructor at Eastfield College. He also plays with his wife, Flutist Helen Blackburn, in the Blackburn/Lang Duo. In the summers, he runs a Jr. High/High School Classical Percussion Camp called MARIMBA MADNESS.

Drew endorses Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets.