A 16-year-old’s remake of the classic Christmas carol “Little Drummer Boy” is capturing the hearts of many this season, already nearing 200,000 hits on YouTube since its release last Wednesday.
Shared on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and other social networking sites, word is quickly spreading about Oak Park High School student Sean Quigley, the brains behind the video as well as everything else, having written, sung, recorded, edited, directed, and played all of the instruments featured in the Yuletide favorite.
Combining rock ‘n’ snow, the short film spotlights the Winnipeg teen as the “little drummer boy” who passionately drums outside in the cold in his black cutoff shorts and beanie, all for Jesus the newborn King.
“I guess it comes back to the story of the song – just a drummer boy who goes to find Jesus and has absolutely nothing to give him,” Quigley told the Winnipeg Sun. “He plays the drum for Jesus and that makes him so happy ... That’s me. That’s why I’m doing it.”
“It’s not about me getting recognition,” he affirmed. “This song is about Jesus.”
Quigley, who drums for his local church in Charleswood, gained an interest in the instrument at the early age of four, due in part to his father who is also a drummer. From there he expanded his music, learning different instruments, most of which was self-taught, while also picking up skills in video shooting and editing.
For his latest creation, the young Canadian musician chose the “Little Drummer Boy” because it spoke to him more than any other Christmas song.
“The whole song is basically a story,” he explained to CBC. “It starts as just this boy who gets word of Jesus being born and he goes to see him and doesn’t have anything to give him. I don’t have money, I don’t have physical items, I don’t have gifts to give you but I can play my drum and that’s more than enough.”
Brainstorming concepts for the video, Quigley desired to make the work international. “I think about it and sure this story really speaks to me but it’s like Jesus is everywhere, God is the entire world, so how do I really represent that?” he stated.
After talking with several international and exchange students from his school, he decided to incorporate them into the video. Throughout the short film, an array of students from all over the world hold signs that read “Merry Christmas” in their own native language, from Portuguese to Tagalog.
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Using a digital SLR camera, the teen shot the entire video mostly at Harte Trail in the Charleswood area on what Quigley described as a “perfect” day. The day before the shooting, he had prayed for a good day, hoping to make the video great.
His prayers were answered apparently, resulting in what many are praising as an “amazing, awe-inspiring, wonderful, and beautiful” piece.
“Wonderful video!!” majicmeow commented on YouTube. “Amazing arrangement and awe-inspiring cinematography (we loved the snow on the drums ;)! Keep it up Sean, hope to see you on iTunes one day!”
Esthercarlee, a fellow member at his church, also added, “Great video Sean! It was also great to see you play it live at Church this morning! Very talented and I enjoy you being a part of the worship team every Sunday!”
“Thank you for sharing your faith and your talents with us – I lived in Wpg for 15 years and you reminded me of some of the many reasons I loved it there,” nannalesley wrote.
“May God always use you in every single way,” TinkerbellIsabella additionally penned.
As the praises keep ringing in, Quigley hopes to one day make a living out of his music. He recently tweeted that his song will soon be available on iTunes for download.
The aspiring Christian musician also tweeted about his church activities, encouraging those who follow him to come to Oasis Community Church and learn about Jesus, the King he continues to play for.
Follow Sean Quigley on Twitter @SeanQuigley204 and keep updated on the “Little Drummer Boy” and his music as well.