Sept. 6, 2007
By Karla Schneider
Anyone seeking a unique way to relieve stress will have a new option available beginning next week. The first of several bi-weekly world drumming parties planned for fall quarter will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, at Baker University Center.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Multicultural Center's Multipurpose Room. Ohio University first lady Deborah McDavis is expected to serve as a drummer at the first party.
Associate Professor of Music Paschal Yao Younge, who directs the Annual International Summer Program in African Interdisciplinary Arts and is co-artistic director of the African Ensemble at Ohio University, will lead the "Live to Drum" sessions. He previously has led drumming parties on the College Green.
"We hope that the world drumming party becomes a unifying tradition for the entire university and local community," said Laura Schaeffer, director of outreach for the Center for International Studies. In addition to being fun, she hopes the parties "serve as a window to the world, piquing curiosity about the many music cultures and giving us new ways to engage on both intellectual and social levels."
In addition to those benefits, studies have shown drumming can boost the immune system and create a sense of community among participants.
Next Tuesday's event will be followed by sessions on Sept. 25, Oct. 9, Oct. 23 and Nov. 6. Organizers will decide whether to continue the parties after gauging interest in the first few events, Schaeffer said.
The Ohio Valley International Council, which Schaeffer also directs, will provide drums from West Africa and Cambodia for use during the sessions, but participants are encouraged to bring their own drums.
The parties are sponsored by the Ohio University's School of Music, the Center for International Studies, the Multicultural Center and the Ohio Valley International Council.