Written by Greg Whitt Wednesday, 28 July 2010 00:00
Photo by Monika Shakinovsky
July has been a fantastic month for Drum for Change! So much has been happening in my rhythmic microcosm that I hardly know where to begin...
I taught several private hand-drum lessons early in the month. Then, with the help of Andrew, Caroline, Tony, Melissa, Linda, Ken, Blake and Stan-paw, we rocked the house with 35 middle school exchange students from Taiwan at Meredith College's Fu Hsing summer camp. The group played Middle Eastern, Native American, West African, and Afro-Cuban rhythms, plus Ming, Lisa, and Heather of Twilight Tribal shimmied and shook with spectacular belly dance. Caroline even had the crowd dancing in the aisles! This group came together as volunteers and with only an hour's practice time managed to pull together ten rhythms from around the planet and then shared them in an hour-long edu-tainment program. TRULY a testament to their musicianship and community spirit! Click here for pics thanks to the generosity and talents of Monika Shakinovsky of Woodland Willow Photograpy. Huge thanks and kudos to everyone involved from both myself and from Dr. Danny Green, Vice-President of Enrollment at Meredith.
After that, I returned to my alma mater and former employer, NC State University, to once again participate in the parade for the All Arts and Sciences Camp from UNC-G. Back in 2001 I watched a djembe drummer lead 300 kids through the campus and was so inspired that I joined the parade, too. That's where drumming began for me! I've led the parade every year since then. Click here for a video by Camp Director Bob Prout that catches some of the action!
This month I also started a five-week group beginning hand drumming class. I offer these two or three time each year. This one has turned out to be my largest so far with 12 students PLUS a teaching assistant thanks to pal Ken Wierzbicki. I never ever imagined I would be teaching drums, much less have a helper!
Of course I always lead the monthly Lake Johnson Jam as founder of the Raleigh Drum Circle. But after that I headed off for four days of fun, frolic, and facilitation at Floydfest with friends Scott Swimmer of drumSTRONG, Shorty Palmer of Djembe Drums & Skins, and Frank Bloom of Thunderdrums. More on this adventure in the next posting....
AND I just drummed with 85 students at Fuquay-Varina High School's Freshman Camp! Go Bengals!
FINALLY, on Saturday volunteers from the Raleigh Drum Circle will join me in a parade as part of Shop Local Raleigh by celebrating the fifth anniversary of the re-opening of Fayetteville Street downtown at Raleigh Wide Open. This will be a fun and fantastic street fair where our friend Caroleena of Circles of Joy will be hooping it up, too.
We hope to hear you out and about!