Everybody Drum Some leader Ross Lester has made it a tradition to invite the entire Rutherford County community to join forces and make music together to celebrate the coming of summer.
“Come on out, everybody drum some and enjoy the night,” Lester said.
He and his drum disciples have presented a Murfreesboro Community Rhythm Event each June over the past years in conjunction with the summer solstice—the longest day of the year—and Make Music Day.
Lester specifically points out that rhythm event participants shouldn’t feel like they must be experienced or talented at drumming.
“It really is not at all about musical experience or talent or anything like that,” Lester said. “What’s fun about these kinds of community rhythm events is that people who have played drums a lot can really get in there and do their groove and jam, but people who are not as acquainted with it can just kind of tap along to the beat.”
The Everybody Drum Some events feature some of the widest age ranges of any musical ensemble; participants at the all-ages Murfreesboro events may very well be aged 2 or 80.
Lester said he really enjoys “introducing people to this wonderful vehicle of recreational music making” as a way of bringing the community together to communicate through music.
While Lester has plenty of rhythmic ideas prior to each community drumming session, each occurrence takes on a unique life and character of its own.
“What’s amazing is that from the beginning of the evening to the end of the evening is the whole group really grows together in their ability to communicate musically,” Lester said.
Make Music Day, a worldwide celebration of music that started in France in 1982, is now observed every year on June 21, which also coincides with the summer solstice. Everybody Drum Some continues to use this holiday season to encourage everyone to come out and join in a group percussion session.
“Sometimes folks come to these events not quite knowing what to expect,” Lester said. “They may think to themselves, ‘Everyone playing drums all at once? How can that work?’ Then they are surprised and delighted to find that when all of the participants get on the beat together, we can make some truly amazing music!”
Lester and his drum disciples will have the rhythmists calling and responding, crescendoing, and decrescendoing, accenting in unison and freestyling.
Sharon Stephens, a recreational therapist at the Murfreesboro VA, has attended and participated in some of the Everybody Drum Some community percussion sessions.
“Group drumming helps reduce stress and anxiety, it improves mood, builds camaraderie,” she affirms. “Recreational drumming is very therapeutic. It helps encourage self expression and has many health benefits.”
It’s more than just noisy fun—it’s science!
And, group drumming is “community communication,” according to Lester.
“Everybody has something to say, something to contribute. The drum circle is an opportunity for each person to express themselves as an individual, and yet for all of us to join our voices into one song.”
All are welcome to come join the community in making some joyful music together. Those who have felt the beat at past Everybody Drum Some events know the vibe. It’s hard to dwell upon the troubles of the world when surrounded by other community members all making happy noise in unison.
The 2022 Everybody Drum Some Summer Community Rhythm Event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at Old Fort Park in Murfreesboro between the playground and outdoor tennis courts.
There is no cost to participate, and people of all ages are invited to come join the session or to spectate. Participants can bring drums, shakers, tambourines, wood blocks or percussive instruments of any type, but even those who have no instrument may come out and use one from the extensive Everybody Drum Some collection. To learn more about Everybody Drum Some, visit everybodydrumsome.com.