The first day of summer is quickly approaching and for many that means it’s the literal “longest day ever.” For Ross Lester, however, it’s a day to invite the entire Rutherford County community to join forces and make music together.
Wednesday, June 21, is Make Music Day, a worldwide celebration of music that started in France in 1982, which also coincides with the summer solstice. Ross Lester, the man behind Everybody Drum Some, uses this day to continue an idea started last year to encourage anyone and everyone to come out and join in a group percussion session, regardless of their experience.
“It really is not at all about musical experience or talent or anything like that,” Lester said. “What’s fun about these kinds of community rhythm events is that people who have played drums a lot can really get in there and do their groove and jam, but people who are not as acquainted with it can just kind of tap along to the beat.”
Lester specifically made the point that participants shouldn’t feel like they must be experienced or talented at drumming.
Lester, a longtime drum instructor, started this idea of a Murfreesboro community rhythm event with Pulse editor Bracken Mayo as a way of bringing the community together to communicate through music.
The drumming leader said he really enjoys “introducing people to this wonderful vehicle of recreational music making.”
Through Everybody Drum Some, Lester and other drumming enthusiasts aim to start each season with a similar community rhythm event.
“We’re really trying to blow up these once-a-quarter events and invite the whole town out and just try to make it a big celebration,” Mayo explained. “We want everyone to come and join the rhythm.”
“There are professional musicians there and there are people who have never been in a musical group ever . . . there are people who’ve played drums for 40 years and then kids who, it might be their first concert, become immersed in music like that for the first time,” he continued.
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 is the whole group really grows together in their ability to communicate musically,” Lester said.
The Murfreesboro Community Rhythm Event will take place on Make Music Day, Wednesday, 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 everyone is 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 in the Everybody Drum Some collection. To learn more about Everybody Drum Some, visit everybodydrumsome.com.