If you’re anywhere near King Central Park on a Sunday afternoon you’ve likely heard a band of drummers. Music enthusiasts around the county meet once a week to play a variety of instruments and catch up with friends for a couple of hours. The group began in April and has grown from a handful to nearly two dozen men, women, and children.
Trish Badgett had the idea to begin the weekly drum circle after experiencing it firsthand in Siesta Key, Florida.
“At first I thought it was a little strange,” she said. “There’s a lot of eccentric people in that area and I didn’t think I fit in. But the more I went, I was really drawn to it.”
For the past ten years Badgett’s traveled to Siesta Key twice a year and the drum circle, a tradition for locals and visitors, has become one of her favorite pastimes.
“They have every kind of drum you can image. There’s one man that comes with a set of three 5-gallon buckets, steels bowls and a washboard he wears on his chest. He just plays away and he’s so good. They have belly dancers and a huge assortment of women who hula hoop and people that spin poi,” she said. “There’s hundreds of people there. The drummers usually sit in a semicircle and the spectators sit in the outer circle. It’s a great experience.”
Badgett hopes to recreate that same feeling and environment in her own hometown.
“This is for everybody. A lot of times people will walk by us and probably think, ‘What in the world’? I don’t think they fully understand it. It’s just a great time to meditate or reflect.”
She also realizes some have a misconception of what a drum circle really is.
“They should try it. You don’t have to have musical experience or know how to read music. We just follow the beat. How we start is someone plays something and the next person just flows with it so you’re not going to hear the same thing. It’s just people playing their favorite rhythms and it all comes together.”
She’s quick to say there’s a fair share of laughing and comradery.
“Everyone is friendly and it’s a very welcoming place. Some people may like to come and just hang out and watch and that’s fine. We love listeners, but I’ve found they usually wind up with something in their hand before the evenings over.”
Badgett hopes to see the group grow before they take a hiatus in October and reconvene when it gets warmer.
“The more drummers you have the better it sounds. This is a great thing for young people and families. There’s not many things you can do that doesn’t cost money. We’re not selling anything. Just bring a chair, a bottle of water and enjoy.”
The drum circle meets on Sunday afternoons at King Central Park. For more information contact Trish Badgett at 336-368-3866.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.