Love God, Love People

Posted by Liz Aponte on Feb.28, 2014

We recently had the opportunity to make Daniel Clayton of Convalesce a snare drum. His 7×14 10 Ply Maple snare with Mahogany stain is truly unique with wording that Daniel picked out himself. “Love God, Love People” is wrapped around the drum, along with some of his other favorite lyrics and Bible verses.

Feel free to check out the video above of Daniel explaining the details of his Respira Collective snare, and be sure to also check out his Artist Page.

$10 of Hoody Sales Going to Relay for Life

Posted by Liz Aponte on Dec.11, 2013

Give to Live

We lost our dear friend Candee McGuire a few weeks ago. She had been battling cancer (for the 2nd time) since early this year. She has been a long-time supporter of Respira Collective, but most importantly, a dear friend and a source of strength and encouragement to all that knew her.

Candee was very involved in Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. We will donate $10 of every hoody sale to her Relay for Life team: Candee’s Crusaders.

To purchase a hoody, you can click the “Store” link at the top of this page, or go to

For more information on Candee’s Crusaders, visit:

Re-Connections & Things Eternal

Posted by Liz Aponte on Oct.17, 2013

They may say every year is life-changing, but 2009 was especially life-changing for me. I graduated college, moved out to Nashville to work for Meinl Cymbals, started dating my now husband – let’s just say it was a huge time for growth and learning!

And with that growth came Respira Collective. Although Respira really started in 2007, it would be two years later that things really started to grow, and we learned a ton. We made a light up acrylic kit , finished our demo snare which we brought to countless shows for people to try out, including Aaron Gillespie from Underoath and Matt Greiner from August Burns Red, and also came out with our engraved badges.

The first snare that got the Respira engraved badge was for our friend Luke Smith. Luke heard about Respira Collective through his friend Mike Schroeder. Luke’s idea for a 7×14 Maple Shell with Mahogany stain and 8 lug (instead of the traditional 10) turned out great. So great in fact, that I even made a few more snares like this to sell at music stores.

Of course it’s an honor to make a snare for your friend, but to make TWO snares is just awesome! And that’s what we recently got to do for Luke.

Luke wanted us to write The Great Commission verses on the outside of his shell. Although we put a wrap later on, he wanted the foundation of the drum to be those verses. He also had me write what was on my heart at the time on the inside of the shell, followed by some lyrics that were important to him.

Needless to say this was a very special project! Check out his 7.5×14 10 Ply Maple snare with Silver Glass Glitter, Brass Hardware and Gold Trick Strainer. Also fitting is that this snare is the first to display our wooden badge.Luke Smith verses

Inside of Luke Smith's snare

Inside of Luke Smith's snare

Luke's Snare - 7.5x14 10 Ply Maple with Silver Glass Glitter, Brass Hardware, Gold Trick Strainer and Wooden Respira Badge

Thanks again Luke for being awesome and believing in Respira!


Posted by Liz Aponte on Oct.09, 2013

We’ve updated most of the website, and also all of our social media outlets! Stay connected with us – we have some cool stuff in the works.

Check out new pictures of snare drums HERE
Check out our updated Charity page HERE
Updated Artist pages HERE
New Facebook Page HERE
AND new storefront at Storenvy HERE (also accessible through our Facebook page)

Thank you for all of your support!

Drum Shed

Posted by Liz Aponte on Sep.19, 2013

We were able to be apart of an awesome drum shed in Indianapolis last week!

This drum shed consisted of beginning and experienced drummers coming together to learn and be inspired by each other. It was a non-judgmental and non-competitive environment – just some drummers doing what they love!

Check out a short but sweet video of the shed here:

New Things!

Posted by Liz Aponte on Sep.02, 2013

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our blog here to catch what we’re up to!

This month, we are working on new snares, a cool contest, new video updates, and will be working on our new website! Also in the works are some guest blog posts.

Twitter & Instagram: @respiracollect


Posted by Liz Aponte on Aug.27, 2013

We had the awesome opportunity to fix up our friend Spencer’s Ludwig snare drum from 1960! With this snare, we did a lot of research on the history of Ludwig drums (which are amazing drums). Fun fact – Ludwig did not start issuing serial numbers on their drums until 1964, which is when Ringo Starr used his Ludwig kit on the Ed Sullivan show with The Beatles (maybe you’ve heard of them? :)). This snare was hand dated. I can only imagine the history behind it!

Thanks to Spencer for the great idea on the snare refurbishing and letting us work on it!

Making Of: Collaboration Snare with Gabriel Stockton

Posted by Liz Aponte on Apr.01, 2013

We had the honor of collaborating with artist Gabriel Stockton on a 7×14 Birch 10 Ply Snare that we were able to display alongside Gabriel’s other artwork at a Music & Arts Show at The Rock Church in Salt Lake City. This video shows the process of the drum being made, and the final product being displayed at the art show. Enjoy!

Let Your Light Shine

Posted by Liz Aponte on Dec.14, 2012

Respira supporter and good friend Ben Carter recently sent us this amazing card, sharing verse Matthew 5:16 and other very encouraging thoughts. We are so thankful for Ben, as he is currently in Air Force training camp. Ben, thank you so much for your desire to protect and serve our country, as well as your amazing heart! We’re praying for you and can’t wait to make you a snare one day – maybe using this verse and lighthouse as a reference.

Millhouse Snare – Close Up

Posted by Liz Aponte on Nov.12, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take pictures of Bryan Edwards and his snare during a band practice. Not only does this snare encompass Bryan’s love for The Simpsons, but it also shows his loyalty for the Packers football team, with his drum kit being green.

Check out these pictures of Bryan and his snare, and look out for his artist page coming soon!

Forevermore’s New CD “Sojourner” Available For Pre-Order

Posted by Liz Aponte on Nov.05, 2012

Good friend and current Respira Collective artist Sammy Vaughan and his band FOREVERMORE are releasing a new record! With a well produced sound, in your face drums, head bopping breakdowns, and greatly executed scream to clean vocals, this is a band to watch out for in the next coming months. If you are a fan of August Burns Red, Texas In July, or For Today, you will love this record!

It is an honor to have Sammy as part of the Respira Collective family. Not only is he an incredibly talented musician (he recently told me of some jazz gigs he has done, in addition to his touring and recording schedule with Forevermore), but he is a great brother in Christ.

You can pre-order Forevermore’s new album “Sojourner” HERE.

Check out some new Forevermore songs here:

“Paradigm” featuring Spencer Sotelo of Periphery –
“Faithful and Just” –

Up and Coming

Posted by Liz Aponte on Oct.21, 2012

Meet Jack – he is 2 1/2 years old, loves the drums, and will be a Respira artist (once his feet can reach the bass and hi hats pedals). 🙂


Posted by Liz Aponte on Oct.20, 2012

Last Sunday I spent a lot of time in prayer, asking God to create a clear vision for Respira and help provide for things that have been on my heart, but that seem impossible. I marked up a dry erase board with verses, ideas, plans…anything and everything that came to mind about Respira.

One of these things was God providing certain tools/supplies that would make building drums easier, specifically more work benches/tables to have more room to work. I find myself feeling limited with space, especially because drums require so much inventory that sometimes it’s hard to keep it all together!

For those that don’t know – I work full time at a non-profit organization so that my husband can go to school full time and finish as quickly as possible. While having a conversation (about God) with one of my co-workers, she mentioned that they have some extra cabinets that didn’t fit, and were planning on throwing them away. I quickly told her I would love to have them!

That was Monday, approximately 24 hours after I had asked God both small and big prayers.

Looking back on the history of Respira, this frequently happens – I think something is impossible, or wondering if I should continue with Respira. And almost instantly, God provides something, or someone as affirmation to keep going. Praise God for His faithfulness despite my doubt 🙂

I am excited about this little (but so meaningful) blessing. This might be an assembly table, a router table…I’m not too sure yet! But I am thankful!


Returning to Honduras!

Posted by Liz Aponte on Jun.16, 2012

We are going back to Danli, Honduras this August and we need your help!

Please view our Honduras Page for more info!

Liz & Respira Collective

Nolan’s Snare

Posted by Liz Aponte on Apr.14, 2012

Here are some picture of Nolan McCormick’s 7×14, Pacific Maple Burl segmented snare with brass hardware!

Thank you Nolan for being awesome and allowing us to make this for you!

Be sure to check out his band In Search of Sight !

Trading Tides

Posted by Liz Aponte on Mar.23, 2012

We recently had the honor of making a snare for The Rock Music drummer Bryan Edwards. He loves The Simpsons, so we took a 7×14, 10 Ply Maple shell, stained it Simpsons Yellow, and put a Millhouse decal on.

Bryan’s wife wanted to make the snare really special, so she wrote on the inside of the shell, and she also put their son, Wesley’s, footprints on the inside as well. Very awesome!

Bryan’s wife and I decided to do a trade back in October. She was going to make my wedding cake, and I was going to make her husband a snare drum. Pretty awesome trade! We are thankful for the Edwards’ family and the chance to create some meaningful.

Check out pictures of the snare and the wedding cake! 🙂


Posted by Liz Aponte on Mar.19, 2012

The Matt Greiner snare auction is over, and Scott Harwick from PA was the winner! He was able to give the snare to his son Travis. Also, Scott and his son were able to meet Matt and talk about the snare at August Burns Red’s show in Allentown, PA on the Leveler tour.

With Scott’s winning bid, and the kindness of a matching gifts donor, we were able to donate $1,400 to Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services. God is good!!

Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word about the auction! And thank you to Matt for taking on this idea!

eBay Auction for Matt’s Snare is Up!

Posted by Liz Aponte on Feb.22, 2012

Bid away!×14-Snare-Drum-/330690751729?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfeb46cf1#ht_500wt_1237

Auction Video & More!

Posted by Liz Aponte on Feb.19, 2012

Here it is! We will begin the auction this Tuesday, February 21st at 6pm MST. We will post the auction URL on Tuesday when it begins.

Last summer, Matt used his Respira Snare Drum on all of Warped Tour 2011. Matt & I made this snare drum with the idea of it being a canvas. While Matt was touring the country and beating on this snare, he was also collecting signatures of some of the main stage drummers, which we ended up woodburning on the shell.

So, here it is! We will be auctioning it off starting February 21th.

Matt picked Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services in Lititz, PA to receive the profits of this donation. Started by a neighbor in his hometown, SVPS provides free check ups and counseling for pregnant women. Their goal is to connect the mother with the unborn baby, and provide a safe place for discussion, medical questions, and concerns.

6.5×14 Birch 10 Ply Shell
Natural Stain
Woodburned Signatures of Various Main Stage Drummers from Warped Tour 2011
Signed Matt Greiner Drumhead
Black Chrome Long Double Ended Tube Lugs
Black Chrome Die Cast Hoops
Black Trick Strainer

Updated Auction Flyer

Posted by Liz Aponte on Feb.16, 2012

Just A Brown Drum…

Posted by Liz Aponte on Dec.24, 2011

Here It Is
I (Liz), used to live in Nashville, where I worked for Meinl USA. The salesman of the Western Region asked if he could take a Respira Collective snare with him, and show it to different dealers. Being in local drum stores has been a dream of mine for Respira, and this was a great opportunity! The problem was, I did not have any snares on hand to give him (and try to sell). Working beyond full time at Meinl, and trying to invest the money Respira made back into the company left me little room for making drums for stock, especially being in the custom market. That was a Thursday, and he was leaving on Sunday night to travel. Thankfully, I was able to get a shell and hardware all on Friday, and stain and clear coat on the weekend. All looked great!

It was July in Nashville when I made this drum. One thing about Nashville is that it gets HOT, HUMID, and MUGGY during the summer. Moving quick to make this snare, I made a rookie mistake and clear coated like I normally do. Between coats I quickly realized something went wrong. Bubbles started appearing in the clear coat, because the weather I was coating in didn’t allow proper drying. Frustrated, but still wanting to press on, I completed the drum, drilled, and assembled it. I knew to the common person, no one would really notice. But to the avid drummer, it would be a defect. It was imperfect.

Sitting On The Shelf
I weighed the pros and cons: If I don’t let him take this drum, it might be an opportunity missed. If I DO let him take this drum, these drum stores might think Respira is a joke. The salesguy at Meinl took it on his trip anyway, and showed to it some amazing drum stores in Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and California. While most noticed the imperfections, and others said “but it’s just a brown drum, nothing exciting about it!”, one store wanted to keep it on their shelf – BackBeats Drum & Backline in Salt Lake City gladly kept it in their shop, which was great because I was to move there a few months later. This established an amazing friendship with the guys at BackBeats, before I even lived there.

Sitting Some More…
The drum was checked out by a lot of people, but never purchased. After a few months, I took it back home (I had now relocated to Salt Lake City), and just played around with it on my own. I LOVED the sound, and it was still close to me, because of the trials. There were a few guys at my church that wanted to try out a Respira snare, so I let a few of them borrow this drum. They loved it too. It was just a great sounding drum!

Alive CD Release
One of the drummers of The Rock Music liked it so much, he decided to use it on a live worship CD that my church recorded, entitled “Alive”. There are multiple bands of different genres that were playing for the live recording, so they decided to use one house kit. All the drummers liked the snare drum so much that they kept it for the live set. It was an incredible night of worship, and I know personally people that turned their life to Jesus that night.

TRM Live Record Release from The Rock Church on Vimeo.

Still the drum had not sold, but had an amazing journey thus far. While I would use it sometimes, I really wanted someone to purchase it and make it their own. I just knew that was its purpose. A guy named Alex started emailing Respira, wanting to rent a snare drum for a worship tour he was doing of the southeast. I had never rented out snares before, but thought it would be a great idea. A week before I was to send it out, he just outright decided to buy it. It was a huge blessing, and I was excited that this drum was going to be used in mighty ways for God’s kingdom so soon!

Travel, Worship, Stories
Alex would send me updates on the road, and boy…they had quite the journey! They played all over the place: Churches in middle of nowhere Georgia, to Refugees at an apartment complex in Nashville, at the Rescue Mission of Middle Tennessee, spent time serving at a Food Bank, played for Lighthouse Christian Fellowship (featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) in Antioch, TN, and heard the powerful testimonies and played for the women at Lovelady Center in Birmingham (a ministry serving as a transitional home for women that have been abused, neglected, or homeless).

It’s About Jesus
So why am I telling you this? We all are imperfect and have flaws, just like this drum does. We are all feeble, require help, and need someone to believe in us from time to time. I have seen that these “weaknesses” can actually be used to transform the lives of others. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, God says to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Perhaps these weaknesses serve a greater purpose beyond what we see.

The world sometimes sees Christmas as a meaningless tradition, where receiving is more important than giving. Christmas Day is about the birth of Jesus Christ. See – Grace is defined as an “undeserved gift”. I am fully convinced that Jesus gave his life on the cross, so that we can be in relationship with the God who created us, that knows our thoughts, feelings, and hardships – and even knows how many hairs we have on our head. But as with every gift – one must accept this free gift that God gives us. I did this in 2007, and my life has been transformed ever since.

Will you accept it?

Merry Christmas!

Not With Ink

Posted by Liz Aponte on Nov.10, 2010

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” – 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

A lesson that God has constantly been teaching me is that although at times I am faithless, God is still faithful. Always.

A few weeks ago, my friends in ABR rolled through town. Matt, myself, and a group of friends from my church here in Salt Lake talked to kids after the show, sharing stories and inviting them to church. A group of kids readily approached Matt, still stoked on the set and asking him drum questions. The conversation quickly turned into something deeper. Matt started to share his heart about his struggles, and how God has pulled him out of all of that. I came over to introduce myself, and quickly felt the Spirit leading the conversation. We talked to our new friends, and it was like we had known each other for years.

Later that night, a few of the guys we talked to accepted the free gift God has granted us of eternal life, by accepting Christ into their lives. Since then, they have been super encouraged and inspired, and have made it out to fellowship at our church (which is a 2+ hour drive for them). These kids have encouraged me beyond belief, and I am forever changed by their testimonies.

These conversations, these stories, these interactions, are all things that will not fade away with ink, but are completely written on human hearts, and is apart of something much bigger than what we can comprehend. There were no egos, money, fame, fancy phones, crafty words, hidden meanings, etc, as those things are just temporary. There was realness, vulnerability, sharing, community, and love!

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

With Confidence

Posted by Liz Aponte on Aug.19, 2010

It never ceases to me amaze me that no matter distance, time, culture, or profession, just how certain paths cross. I am a big believer that God puts certain people in our lives at the right place at the right time for the right reason. We may never see them again, or we may keep in touch for years…but it is so amazing how we are just MEANT to be in fellowship and community with one another. Absolutely no one can do this life alone.

Earlier this month, I received an order for a beanie. “But it’s summer!”, I thought. Whenever I send out anything Respira, I usually tend to put a Bible verse that has been put on my heart. During my quiet time that morning, the Lord put on my heart Hebrews 13:6. It reads:

“So we say with confidence,
‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?'”.

I put that on the envelope of the beanie I was sending out, not knowing who was going to receive it and what they would think of it. I received an email from Cory, the recipient, expressing his gratitude for the verse, and how it found him at the right place at the right time. We were both mutually encouraged and strengthened.

What a testament to how big God is! That HE would place a verse on my heart to share, and it would bless someone I’ve never met that is thousands of miles away. SO AWESOME! I absolutely love and am thankful for this.

Here are a few pictures of 2 recently finished drums, that are for sale. If you’re interested in purchasing, or have questions, or just have something to say or express, please email me:

I Will Possess Your Heart

Posted by Liz Aponte on Mar.24, 2010

“I am early in my story, but I believe I will stretch out into eternity, and in heaven I will reflect upon these early days, these days when it seemed God was down a dirt road, walking toward me.  Years ago He was a swinging speck in the distance; now He is close enough I can hear His singing.  Soon I will see the lines on His face.” Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller

There is much to say about a life – it can be a journey, a story, an adventure, a nightmare, a treading of water.  You pick your adjective.  I don’t know about you, but for me…it is the unknown that makes me excited.  Not knowing what tomorrow will bring, being open to any possibility, and being in a place that is unfamiliar.  While one part of me thrives on this excitement, there is another part of me that completely dreads it.  A bigger part of me, a darker part of me.  It is a tugging of heartstrings that leaves me quiet, confused, unsettled – and alone.  How do I learn to listen to the light, to accept the season I am in and not let the negative knock me off my feet?  I may never have an answer to that, but you know what?  That is okay.  Because sometimes it’s about the struggle, the adversity, the unfavorable, the “how am I going to get through this?” feeling.  Because without this, I would not appreciate the good.  The “life cannot get any better than this” feeling.  When you hit the bottom, then starts the ascent.  I would rather live a life of struggle and challenge than a life of complacency and comfort.

It’s funny – the more I look back on my life, the more I can’t stop looking ahead.  Three years ago God was a joke to me.  But looking back on it now, His essence was present throughout my life – even when I didn’t know it.  He was walking towards me, asking urgently to meet  halfway.  Now, He is the reason I breathe and breathe meaningfully.

Soon, we will see face to face.

This blog will serve as a canvas – of thoughts, of travels, of drums, and hopefully, of inspiration.  I encourage you to be vulnerable, to share what is important to you with others, and not look back.