Wednesday night saw many firsts for me. The first time I attended Preston Tringe Festival, the first time I walked into the Adelphi with a notepad in hand, and the first time I heard Worldwise Samba Drummers, or drumming of this kind at all actually.Advertisement
Going in with little knowledge on the subject and an ear for curiosity, I took my seat close to the front as the 22 strong group formed in front of me.
Worldwise Samba Drummers began four years ago at the University of Central Lancashire, and consists of university staff, students and locals all sharing an excitement for the instruments they play. Surdos, snares and tamborins among them, (again, I would have just called them all drums).
Jon Aveyard, conductor of the group welcomed the audience, and introduced their performance. He said the influences vary from South American, to a style called samba funk as well as playing pieces composed by Manchester musician, Leon Patel.
His personal highlight of performing, is the excitement that comes across in their music: “I really enjoy the fact that this is a group of people many of whom still don’t consider themselves musicians, even though they are drumming every week and just because they haven’t had that musical background and they get to play instruments, work with people who do these big performances and most of them have big grins all the way through the performances, and those who don’t are just concentrating and when they stop playing, they start smiling and I really believe in community groups like this and the various choirs that are in the area as ways of bringing people together.”
This attitude absolutely comes across when you are watching them. Every piece had that toe-tapping ability to it, and I too couldn’t help but smile with them.
Each piece featured a variety of instruments, and chants and shouts from the members too. The excitement behind the music was evident in their movements and smiles, but also the confidence and vigor in the way they performed was hypnotic to say the least.
To say Worldwise Samba Drummers perform as a hobby, their ability and skill was very impressive, and the idea of community groups helping us by bringing light relief to busy days, but also by helping themselves in something I am all for, and Jon agrees: “I’m aware of people in this group and other groups that I belong to where these groups have been a real lifeline, a real way of giving them some companionship and a regular activity a week where they get to hang out with people and enjoy themselves.”
I was definitely won over by the Worldwise Samba Drummers, and my little knowledge and ear for curiosity has now become still a little knowledge, but a confidence in saying I am a huge fan.
The Tringe Festival continues until Saturday night and sees various venues put on an eclectic mix of drama, comedy, music and more.
Did you go to the show? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below