On Sunday, February 11th, fifteen young women from Greenbrier Academy for Girls put on an awe-inspiring drumming show set before a packed house at the Hulett C. Smith Theater in Tamarack.
The show featured traditional African drumming, led by drumming coordinator Laura Bondurant, who told the Register-Herald that drumming has become an integral part of life at Greenbrier. Bondurant also added that it “inspires healthy rhythms and healthy relationships.”
As the show went on, each girl would step in front of the crowd to introduce themselves and the name of the drum. The performers were dressed in traditional African clothing, and participated in clapping, chanting and keeping up with the allegro rhythm that’s involved in the African drumming.
The show was a meet and greet in some ways as the girls answered questions from the audience after their “Welcome” song. One crowd member inquired about how painful the intense drumming was for the girls, to which one of the girls related it to training for a marathon. Though they explained that their hands are worn and calloused, the girls smiled without a care, shrugging it off.
It is clear after this particular performance that the pain is worth the gain for the girls at Greenbrier. From the activity, they benefit immensely from the therapeutic release that leaves them “calm but excited,” the feeling of togetherness, which they explain as being greater than themselves, and, most of all, the great sisterhood which they share.
Here’s a practice session from some of the girls that happened two years ago. Check it out!