There are some individuals and organizations that are, simply put, just awesome. drumSTRONG™ and it’s founder, Scott Swimmer, fall into this category of incredible, inspiring and generous.
drumSTRONG™ puts together multicultural musical charity events centered around drumming circles, which also showcase available resources supporting people with cancer and those who love them. This weekend the Charlotte region will host another major drumSTRONG™ event.
The annual drumSTRONG™ main event will happen on Misty Meadows Farm in Weddington, NC starting Saturday, May 19 at 10:30 a.m. and ending Sunday, May 20 at 5 p.m. At the same time, there will be celebrity artists and communities worldwide supporting survivorship, education, sharing resources and raising awareness and funds for important cancer initiatives, all through rhythm.
The goal, the purpose and main motivation is drumming to beat cancer. Via webcasts, everyone plays together with drumSTRONG™ rhythm events globally, each raising funds to support their local communities. (Individuals or teams raise funds through “per hour drumming” sponsorship. Donations are disbursed to local and international cancer organizations.)
This annual main event includes a cancer health expo, stage of celebrity talent, fun kid’s zone, camping, dancing, yoga, vendors, food and, of course, a community drum circle that doesn’t stop. It’s exciting to note that there is even global participation at this truly unusual and uplifting group music-making experience.
The focal point of the event is an ongoing community drumming circle. Their initial goal was to drum 24 hours, but they have beat it each year. (Misty Meadows Farm in Weddington, NC pulsed on May 5 and 6, 2007 during the first annual drumSTRONG™ for 25 hours nonstop.)
In May 2011, more than 50 cities in 15 countries hosted drumSTRONG™ events to raise awareness and funds for their local cancer initiatives. They drummed for 29 hours nonstop. Events are webcast so that those in hospitals who aren’t able to physically join an event, and cities worldwide can play together.
I have not experienced a drumSTRONG™ main event, but was fortunate enough to be part of their group drumming at TEDx Charlotte event earlier this year.
Personally, I would never drum publicly, feeling rhythm challenged. But Swimmer’s passion and generous nature, along with his wonderful musical team, transformed our group of passive observers into a moving sea of smiling, drumming people. We were connected on a basic level unlike anything I’ve been part of in my adult life.
Drums are the perfect communicator, as rhythm welcomes and embraces all who participate. Music truly engages all ages, wages and stages of health. As Swimmer puts it, “Everyone can bang on something. We bring people together through rhythm and invite people to drum to beat cancer.”
drumSTRONG™ 2012 starts Saturday, May 19 at 10:30 a.m. and ends Sunday, May 20 at 5 p.m. at Misty Meadows Farm (455 Providence Rd. S. & Ennis Road, Weddington, NC). Tickets are $30 for individuals and $50 for families.