Premier Celebrates 100 Years Ahead of The 2023 NAMM Show

Elizabeth Dale

Celebrating 100 years of history, U.K.-based Premier Drum Company “encourages innovation, thinks beyond the limitations of technology, and ensures exceptional quality” as it crafts every instrument, from acoustic kits to marching drums and orchestral percussion.

A century ago, musicians and music enthusiasts were treated to a year of notable events, including the opening of the famed Hollywood Bowl and the formation of the British Broadcasting Company and its first broadcasts in London. Alongside these defining moments, 1922 also bore witness to a drummer and drum maker coming together intent on improving drums, forming Premier Drum Company.

Albert Della-Porta and George J. Smith set up shop on Berwick Street in London. Della-Porta’s brother, Fred, quickly joined the duo and became the company’s first sales manager. Early in its history, the NAMM Member manufactured drums for other companies, including John E. Dallas, before it made Premier instruments. Those early kits consisted of a bass, snare, stand, cymbal, and occasionally, a small tom-tom.

Over the next decade and a half, the small operation grew to encompass two factories, and by 1938, the team also began producing brass instruments and supplying drums to the armed forces. During World War II, Premier had to alter operations and began making gun sights and electrical plugs and sockets for radar equipment to support the Allied war effort. In 1940, a German air campaign destroyed the West London factory and the company relocated to the Leicestershire region, where they occupied three factories.

By 1986, the company had become one of the largest factories in the region and employed 180 people. Operations continued in this area until 2005 when after 65 years, the factory was closed. But never one to quit, the NAMM Member relocated to its current home in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, and the brand was subsequently purchased in June of 2021 by the online retailer, Gear4music.

Premier Drums - Legendary Sound

:( Sorry! Your browser cannot play this video either because javascript is disabled or your browser is not HTML5 compatible. Try Chrome or Firefox.

In honor of the brand's centenary, Premier has launched a line of special releases, including its Della-Porta 100 limited edition 14” x 5” snare drum. Only 100 of these handmade, vintage-style drums will be made to commemorate the legacy of the prolific drum company.

Premier Drums - Centenary Editions

:( Sorry! Your browser cannot play this video either because javascript is disabled or your browser is not HTML5 compatible. Try Chrome or Firefox.

The past century has seen Della-Porta and Smith’s passion for drumming and innovation continue as Premier unites drummers through its products. Today, the company and its companion organization, Gear4music, are as committed as ever to maintaining the same passion and legacy established a hundred years ago.

For more information on Premier, please visit