Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Women and Gender Resource Center to hold drum circle on campus


To engage the community with a sense of empowerment and unity this Women’s History Month, the UA African Drumming Ensemble will provide a variety of drums, shakers and other percussion instruments to all individuals regardless of musical knowledge and ability.

“I’m hoping all participants are exposed to something a little bit 
different because African drumming isn’t something you run across every day,” said Paige Miller, the Women and Gender Resource Center’s 
program coordinator. “Although in the past many have looked towards men in leading drumming circles, in honor of Women’s History Month participants can both learn about the history of women in African drumming while enjoying the various instruments 
we’ll provide.”

The event will begin with a brief introduction to African drumming, and afterwards participants will be led in various rhythms and beats with a series of instruments in the hopes of unifying into one communal tempo. All students, faculty and members of the community are welcomed and 
encouraged to attend.

“When you have people come together through a common purpose 
or goal, it creates a positive 
environment both on campus and throughout the Tuscaloosa community,” Miller said. “Especially something like this drumming circle. It’s fun and interesting and everyone can contribute regardless of age, race or gender to create something that collectively connects and builds up the community.”

The event looks to foster a unifying
rhythm that relies on the partnership of each participant and their 
instrument with the entire group.

“It’s unique because some people will have drums and some will have shakers, but when everyone goes together you can build this sound that wouldn’t sound the same if only drums or only shakers were playing,” Miller said. “Everyone has to participate and work together to get this sound, and that’s a key theme we want to 
focus on.”

Jennifer Caputo, the director of the UA African Drumming Ensemble, will facilitate the group throughout the event while emphasizing the theme of an empowered community throughout Women’s History Month.

“It’s going to be a relatively 
free-form event fostered by various call and response activities,” Caputo said. “We’ll use different instruments as tools to [exemplify] the various themes of 
the event.”

The event also aims to provide a sense of encouragement, as African drumming and musical technique may be new to many participants who attend.

“I hope whoever participates walks away without being intimidated by 
playing music,” Caputo said. “I hope everyone feels connected to the people that experience the event with them, and they’re encouraged to do something new like this a little beyond many of their comfort zones in the future.”

The Women and Gender Resource Center will also hold their signature fundraiser “Lunafest” next Tuesday evening. Taziki’s dinner will be provided alongside a series of short films produced by women in fundraising for both the Women and Gender Resource Center and breast cancer awareness.

“I’m really looking forward to both the drumming circle and Lunafest,” said Erica Carrega, a sophomore 
majoring in public relations. “I think it’s 
important to recognize and actively engage in Women’s History Month, whether that be through African drums or an evening of short films, because as a community we can all come together to empower each other.”

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