Once again, Murfreesboro rhythmist Ross Lester and his drum disciples will host a community rhythm event to celebrate worldwide Make Music Day.
June 21 is Make Music Day, a celebration of music that started in France in 1982, which also coincides with the summer solstice. In Murfreesboro, Lester, the man behind Everybody Drum Some, uses this day to encourage anyone and everyone to come out and join in a group percussion session, regardless of their experience.
This year marks the third annual Make Music Day/Summer Solstice drum jam at Old Fort Park, a collaboration between Everybody Drum Some and the Murfreesboro Pulse.
Those who have felt the beat at past Everybody Drum Some events, which include percussionists ranging from music professionals to toddlers, know the vibe. It's hard to dwell upon the troubles of the world when other community members surround you, all making music in unison.
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, the whole group really grows together in their ability to communicate musically," Lester said.
He and his drum disciples will have the rhythmists calling and responding, crescendoing and decrescendoing, accenting in unison and freestyling.
"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!"
While collaboration and community are critical to these events, that social and musical framework does allow for some individual self-expression and creativity.
"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. It's community communication," according to Lester.
All are welcome to come join the community in making some joyful music together.
The Murfreesboro Community Rhythm Event will take place on Make Music Day, Thursday, June 21, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Old Fort Park between the playground and outdoor tennis courts. It's free to participate and those 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.