The Newport Community Drum Circle will celebrate the holidays on Saturday, December 12, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the glass enclosed Don Davis Park Gazebo with a multicultural rhythm event that acknowledges all of this month’s major cultural or religious observances.
“This month’s holidays represent both religious and secular observances touching on a range of cultural traditions that overlaps neatly with the drum circle’s multicultural focus”, according to Drum Circle leader Chandler Davis, “and they also correspond nicely to the diversity of Lincoln County and of our membership.”
The group will celebrate the holidays by trying to create and play improvised group rhythms that reflect each of the cultures that the December holidays represent.
“The traditional and indigenous song rhythms that are the basis for almost everything we play are drawn from cultures around the world and correspond to all of the major December observances. From Christmas to the Mexican Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), and Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12), which are also observed in local Catholic churches; to Hanukkah, (Dec. 7 though Dec. 14), celebrated by many local Jews; to Prophet’s Day (Dec. 24), when many Muslims celebrate the birthday of Muhammad; there is a corresponding song rhythm,” Davis said.
Among the secular holidays observed during December that the drum circle will celebrate are Winter Solstice (Dec. 22), signaling the beginning of the transition to longer days and representing renewal; and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26 to Jan. 1) a modern holiday rooted in the Black Pride resurgence in the 1960’s that seeks to help African-Americans reconnect with their African heritage (also described as a “communitarian African philosophy” intended to be celebrated concurrently with religious observances).
The facilitated event is free and family-friendly and strictly non-denominational. All ages and skill levels are welcome and loaner drums and other percussion instruments will be available for those who don’t have one.
Participants are encouraged to bring rhythms, songs, and drums or other acoustic rhythm instruments that reflect their own traditional cultural or religious holiday observances! (Amplified instruments are prohibited by City ordinance; low volume string instruments don’t work well with the drums, and are discouraged.)