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Bang a Drum: Juniata to Create Rhythmic Experience to Honor Martin Luther King

(Posted January 4, 2006)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Martin Luther King Jr. inspired a nation in his "I Have a Dream" speech by vowing that "with this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood." Juniata College will honor that spirit by creating a community drum circle at 3:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16 in the intramural gymnasium in the Kennedy Sport and Recreation Center on the Juniata campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

"This year we will have campus community service projects going on all day in which students, faculty and staff can participate and we will ask convocation goers to work cooperatively through music to create a unique and beautiful percussive masterpiece" says Rosalie Rodriguez, special assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion at Juniata.

Participants in the drum circle will receive one of 300 drums shipped to Juniata for the event. Created by the group Village Music Circles, these events are designed to bring together large groups of people from all walks of life to experience the unity and community created by active and rhythmic group dynamics.

In addition to drums, participants will also use other percussion instruments such as maracas, rattles, bells and woodblocks to create the collective musical experience. The group uses drums, percussion and vocals to improvise a communal music experience.

According to Village Music Circles founder Arthur Hull, these "rhythm events" teach team building, promote cooperation versus competition, encourage communication, develop listening skills and demonstrate how individuals can affect the outcome of group efforts.

The group mimics the dynamic of cooperation and communication within a village by creating a musical village comprised of Juniata students, faculty and staff. "This is not about drumming," says Hull in an interview for Business Ethics magazine. "It's a metaphor for team-building. Once people get into this they start relating across the circle."

Arthur Hull founded Village Music Circles in 1984 after teaching seminars on drumming and teamwork at the headquarters for Apple Computer Co. He has taught drumming seminars to many corporate clients as well as at college and university events across the nation. He also has taught drumming and dance courses at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.