Drummers pick up the rhythm

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    The sound of Indian and African drums bounce loudly and freely off the front walls of the Brown-Lupton Student Center bringing another flavor to the TCU campus.The rhythms come from a drum circle formed every other Wednesday night by members of the TCU Percussion Club.

    “People wanting to get a late-night snack can come, jam and hang out,” said Manny Arciniega, senior music education and music theory/composition major.

    Darrin Hicks, president of the TCU Percussion Club, said he brings a bag full of shakers, tambourines and cowbells for anyone to play.

    The club also picked the location in front of the Student Center to get students to notice and gain exposure and promote different percussion events on campus.

    The drum circle drew the attention of Ben Schmitt, a junior history major, who said he enjoyed the music.

    “It’s a nice change of pace, and you don’t see this very often here at TCU,” said Schmitt, who happened to be passing by the drum circle one Wednesday night.

    Hicks, a senior education major, said the drum circle started last fall and has between five to 15 students who participate on any given week.

    Brian West, the faculty adviser for the club, said the students don’t get academic credit for the drum circle but simply have fun playing types of music not taught in the classroom.

    “We are big on promoting music of different cultures and styles, and this is an outlet for it,” said West, the coordinator of percussion for the School of Music.

    Chas Richard, a freshman biology major from New Orleans, smiled as he walked by the drum circle recently.

    “I think it’s cool,” Richard said. “I see that stuff back home all the time, and I enjoy seeing the variety of music.”

    West said some students from the drum circle are also part of the TCU Percussion Ensemble, which was chosen to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Columbus, Ohio, in November.

    “It’s like winning the national championship for percussion,” West said.

    Top educators and performers picked two colleges in the country to perform at the convention, and TCU was one of them, West said.

    West also said the TCU Percussion Ensemble will have a pre-convention concert featuring a variety of jazz, pop and traditional music styles.