Heartbeat 2010 pumps lifeblood into cultural music

Students putting their heart and soul into their drumming (2009)

St. Kitts, May 19, 2010 (SKNIS) – The pulsating rhythms of the drum will reverberate through the former Boys School come Thursday, June 03 when spectators will receive another thrilling taste of Heartbeat.

This year’s drumming spectacle will once again feature students ranging from six to 12 years from the Beach Allen, Irish Town, Tucker Clark, Dr. William Connor and Dean Glasford Schools along with the Special Education Unit all taught by the Department of Culture’s Drumming Specialist Royd Phipps. The National Youth Drum Corp, Okolo Tegremantine Drummers and other drumming groups will also be featured.

While speaking to the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service Mr. Phipps explained that the drums that will be used are chiefly from West Africa and include the djembe, congo, junjun, samba and the talking drum. Percussion instruments include cowbells, shakshaks and bamboo, that will be featured in the company of a wooden xylophone. He explained that the African xylophone was given to him by a personal friend and is made of varying sizes of wood, backed by calabash to create the sound of the appropriate music note.

Okolotegremantine Drummers with Royd Phipps 3rd from left (2009)

Mr. Phipps revealed that as customary, he has asked each school to portray a particular subject of an overall theme, this year’s being Children’s Issues. He said that topics will range from the importance of reading to the prevention of obesity.

The Drumming Specialist enthused that using cultural materials, the Old Boys School will be transformed, creating an appropriate historical Kittitian setting. He invited parents, well-wishers and friends to come out and be transported to a “time gone by” where they will symbolically float away on the rhythms and beat of the drum as it continues to pump lifeblood into the cultural music of the Federation.

Heartbeat 2010 takes place on Thursday, June 03 at the Old Boys School starting at 6:00 p.m.

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