Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Ohio River Ferryboat Festival – 200th Anniversary Fly-Sistersville Ferry

Fly Ferry

The Fly-Sistersville Ferry provides a relaxing way to cross the Ohio River.

Floating by ferry on the Ohio River brings pictures to mind of days gone by. Drive your car onto the ferry, or walk on – either way you’re sure to enjoy a ride to the other side. No bridges exist close by.

Fly Sistersville Vendors

Vendors line the streets on the Sisterville side of the river.

During the Ohio River Ferryboat Festival on July 28-30, crowds fill both sides of the Ohio River at Fly, Ohio and Sistersville, West Virginia. For only a dollar, you can walk on the boat, float across and check out the activities on the other side. Or you can drive on board for five dollars. The ride across takes about eight minutes.

This ferry began many years ago in 1817 so this happens to be the 200th Anniversary of a ferryboat crossing at what everyone calls the “Long Reach”. This is one of those rare places on the Ohio River where there’s a twenty mile stretch of river without any bends.

Fly Kiwanis

The Kiwanis was one of many ferries used on the Ohio River.

In those early days the Ohio River wasn’t nearly as deep as it is today. At that time horses pulled the ferry, which was basically a wooden platform, across the Ohio while guided by a rope. If it was an easy load, only one horse was needed, but larger loads of stagecoaches and animals might require two horses. Thus our present term of one, two, or four horsepower.

Today the Sisterville-Fly Ferry is the only ferry still operating on the Ohio-West Virginia border. Now it’s only open from the first of May until the end of September from Thursday thru Sunday. Bo is the only operator but he enjoys his retirement years as captain of the ferry.

Fly-Bo

Bo always serves as pilot on the only ferry on the Ohio-WV border.

They got lucky at finding their latest captain, as Bo is a former member of the United States Coast Guard. After the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Ohio River must seem fairly calm. He especially enjoys letting children come up in his cabin and let’s them “drive” the ferry for a little while.

Fly Ferry close up

Take a peaceful ride on the Ohio River during the Ohio Ferryboat Festival.

During last year’s festival over a thousand people walked onto the ferry for crossing and nearly seventy-five cars. The ferry can hold eight cars or trucks at a time if they’re parked bumper to bumper. Motorcycles find it a great shortcut and once in a while even a tractor trailer gets on board.

Fly Sistersville Wrestling 2

Wrestling provides entertainment on the Sisterville side.

While the ferryboat is the main reason for the festival, there are many other activities on both sides of the river. Each town does their own promotions and plans their own entertainment. But they visit back and forth. The mayor of Sistersville often rides across on the ferry to Fly.

Fly Dick Pavlov

Dick Pavlov with his banjo traveled to Fly last year to join in the entertainment.

Fly Price Sisters

The Price Sisters, Leanna and Lauren, of Bluegrass fame from nearby Sardis draw large crowds of friends and fans.

On the Fly side, many groups perform throughout the day with everything from Bluegrass music to Steel Drums and accordion. A couple special highlights are the Clark Family of Ohio Opry and local girls, the Price Sisters, who are Bluegrass stars.

Fly George Washington

George Washington & Co. describes life during Washington’s trip on the Ohio River.

George Washington & Co explain the story of George Washington’s camp at the edge of what is today Fly, Ohio. He camped there during a survey trip back in 1770. They dress in costumes of the 1770s and tell of riding down the Ohio River in two canoes with two Indian guides. It took a couple weeks to paddle from Fort Pitt to Mount Pleasant.

Fly children

It’s a great day for families to acquaint their children with the Ohio River stories.

Join Fly and Sistersville for the 200th Anniversary of the ferry this July. Not only will you enjoy a ride on the ferry, but you’ll find delightful vendors and entertainment on both sides of the Ohio River

It’s definitely the only Ferry to Fly.

Fly, Ohio is located in southern Ohio along Route 7. From Wheeling, it’s about 47 miles south on Route 7. The fastest route would be off I-77 and take Route 7 North at Exit 1. It’s a scenic route anyway you travel!

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Rich Simcox: A Life of Musical Adventures

Rich Choir Director

Rich SImcox considers music his vocation and avocation.

I fell into a lot of lucky spots.” That’s how Rich Simcox describes his musical career. “ It’s not always what you know, but who you know that matters most.” But his great musical talent certainly enabled those connections.

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The “pickers and grinners” met  in the summer on Uncle Joe’s porch. They entertained the entire neighborhood.

Rich grew up surrounded by music. His mother’s family were “pickers and grinners”, while his father’s family reached out to classical and Dixieland. Rich wanted to emulate his dad.

Dick Simcox, Rich’s dad, directed school music programs in Bucyrus during Rich’s youth. In fourth grade, Rich started playing the trumpet, which remains his favorite instrument.

His dad knew teaching music to be a vocation of long hours and short vacations. He told his two sons and daughter, “I don’t care what you do, as long as you don’t go into music.” They all chose music.

Dick Simcox 001 (2)

His dad, Dick Simcox, gave him musical inspiration.

The Simcox family history shows their deep Cambridge roots. Rich was born there, his dad grew up there. Grandpa Simcox performed vaudeville at the Strand and Liberty theaters. Great-grandpa Simcox had a harness shop by the courthouse. It seemed only natural for Rich to drift back this direction.

He admits to being a gypsy at heart so he has been on many musical adventures. That all started when he became a member of the Air Force Band, one of his favorite musical journeys. Most of the time they worked out of Scott Air Force Base in Missouri. The 45 piece band played for parades, school concerts, community events, and military funerals.

Muskingum College Jazz Group

When attending Muskingum College, he played in many campus bands.

In the 70s, his dad moved to Tri-Valley High School and in his spare time formed “The Dick Simcox Big Band”. Rich at the time was attending Muskingum College so became part of his dad’s band. When his dad passed in 1979, Rich decided he would keep the band performing as long as possible. One thing he wanted to do was always keep his dad’s name as the name of the band.

While his biggest inspiration remained with his dad, he also listened carefully to Al Hirt and Doc Severinsen. Rich said he always hoped to emulate the tunefulness and tone quality of Bobby Hackett, coronet player.

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The Dick Simcox Big Band provided music around the Tri-State area.

Locally, Rich taught music at several high schools as well as Muskingum College. Many remember him coming to their homes for private lessons. He has led many musical groups in the area over the years, including: Barbershop Chorus, Sweet Adelines, and Land ‘O Lakes Chorus.

His involvement with music in the area extends to many organizations and listing them all would take an entire page. To name a few, he has played trumpet or french horn in Cambridge City Band, Coshocton Lake Park Band, Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra and Zanesville City Band. He’s directed musicals at Living Word and Cambridge Performing Arts Center.

Rich Dick Simcox Band 001

Here the band plays at the Cambridge Concert Association at the Scottish Rite Auditorium. That’s Rick sitting in the wheel chair.

While directing has been one of his strong points, participating as an actor gave him great pleasure at CPAC. He played lead roles in popular musicals such as “The Music Man”, “Carousel” and “The Flower Drum Song”. His talent in so many varied musical arenas led him to say, “Music is my vocation and avocation.”

This outstanding musician played trumpet on cruise ships and has kept the “Dick Simcox Big Band” alive with performances throughout the area. Rich reflects, “I’ve done more than I ever thought I would.”

Rich in Church Choir

Singing in the church choir has given Rich pleasure for nearly forty years.

Directing the choir at First Christian Church in Cambridge since 1978 still gives him great pleasure. The church music lifts his soul as they make a joyful noise to the Lord. In his spare time, he also enjoys camping and fishing.

Rich Church Choir

He frequently directs the choir with some challenging music.

It’s a tragedy to Rich that schools are doing away with music programs. There’s a big correlation between participation in musical activities and excellence in other areas of study. He feels that the reason this area has so many talented musicians today comes from great music teachers, such as Howdy Max, John Matheny, Max Trier, Diane Box, and Todd Bates.

Rich perhaps gave the best description of his role in music. He’s a musical engineer, who organizes whatever needs done or put together. But admitted he couldn’t do it without networking with all his connections.

According to those who know him well, Rich’s specialty is motivation. “He can get more out of most people than they think they can produce.” Music has been a lifelong adventure for Rich.

World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock in “Little Switzerland of Ohio”

Cuckoo Welcome

This large billboard at the edge of town announces Sugarcreek attractions.

Visit “Little Switzerland of Ohio” to see the “World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock”. Sugarcreek is now home to that famous clock, which was purchased by Walnut Creek Cheese and donated to the tourist town.

But the clock had its beginnings back in 1963 as an idea of Alice Grossniklaus, owner of Alpine Alpa, a restaurant and cheese house. She thought a large cuckoo clock would help bring trade to her restaurant. Designed and built by Karl Schleutermann, twelve years and $50,000 later, the clock was up and running.

This 23-foot- 6 inch tall timepiece originally stood in Wilmot on a hill in back of the Alpine Alpa restaurant. Alice and her husband, Hans, made it the #1 Swiss cheese shop in the country. But things changed over the years and all the restaurant fixings were auctioned off, including the clock.

Cuckoo Clock

The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock waits for all to enjoy.

Mark Coblentz of Walnut Creek Cheese purchased the clock at auction. It sat in a parking lot for two years while they looked for the perfect place to set it.

When the residents of Sugarcreek were trying to decide where to put the clock, many wanted it placed inside a building with an admission charge of about five dollars per visit. But Mayor Clayton Weller didn’t have the same vision. He wanted the clock to be free for all to enjoy, as often as they wanted.

When Mayor Weller sets his heart on something, he gets it accomplished. Land was purchased, the foundation set and a crane moved that clock between two crabapple trees without touching a limb. Clayton likes challenges, perhaps that’s why in his spare time he drag races.

Today the clock is on Sugarcreek’s Broadway Street. In 2012, the clock resumed its cuckooing duties after volunteers worked diligently to restore the electrical mechanisms. Those little Bavarian figures still do the polka.

Cuckoo Cuckoo Clock

The cuckoo is the first thing you see and hear each half hour.

Visitors are thrilled every thirty minutes when a bell rings, and out pops a cuckoo bird. Next a three-foot-tall couple on tracks dance the polka to Bavarian music played by a five-piece oompa band.

Cuckoo Swiss Hilltoppers

The oompa band, The Hilltoppers, entertains as the couple dances.

The dancers and band are made out of wood from the Black Forest in Germany. Currently, the dancers take a break as the wood started splitting on the lady’s dress. That would have destroyed her, if not fixed quickly.

The mechanical part of this clock is a marvel with many intricate pieces. When viewed through the back door, the system is even more amazing. Most incredible is the fact that this clock is forty-five years old. They even have the original eight-track tapes that played that first music.

Cuckoo Waterwheel

A waterwheel on the side of the building adds a little extra splash.

A satellite on the clock monitors the sound system so it can easily be checked from home anytime. The people of this town really care about the clock. A group of men Clayton called the Cuckoo Brothers spend endless hours working on and checking the clock. Another special group, the Four Amigos, plant and care for 165 geraniums that surround the clock in the summer time. That shows real dedication to their community!

Guinness World Records was contacted regarding the clock’s official unveiling to verify that it is indeed the world’s largest. “It has to work as a real cuckoo clock, like you’d buy at a store,” said Mayor Weller, confident that his clock would be crowned the largest in the world. “A lot of work went into it,” he said. “Everybody says it’s never looked as good as it does now.”

A friend, Big Mike, secretly made all the arrangements with Guiness World Records, and one day Clayton was called asking why the street was blocked off and a crowd of people were at the clock. He knew nothing about these plans, so headed that way. What he saw surprised him completely.

Cuckoo Mayor Clayton

May Clayton Welller has been instrumental in getting the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock up and running.

Under a blanket on an easel was that coveted Guiness Book of World Records certificate. It verified that the clock in Sugarcreek definitely took the honors of the Largest Cuckoo Clock in the World. Today the office of Mayor Weller proudly displays that certificate.

In order to pay for this project without burdening the local residents, a bedtax plan has been used. Next year the land and moving expenses will be paid in full. Then the money will be used for repairs and maintenance on this local treasure.

Cuckoo 1

This picture was taken on a summer day with all the beautiful geraniums in bloom.

People come from all over the world to visit the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock. Many remember coming years ago with their families, but most are making new memories as they watch the mechanical marvel play its song every thirty minutes.

Visit Sugarcreek, Little Switzerland of Ohio, to visit their delightful small town and unique chalet-styled cuckoo clock. Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock is located at 100 N Broadway Street, Sugarcreek, Ohio. Take I-77 to Exit 83, which will be Ohio 39. Go west about 8 miles and turn left on Broadway Street. You can’t miss the Cuckoo Clock on the corner of Broadway and Main.

Radio Enthusiast Enjoys Broadcasting

Boyer Logo 001

This WBPS 101.9 FM logo provides easy public recognition of their station.

Turn the radio on  and listen to WBPS 101.9 FM, where you can hear Good Time Oldies and Great American Standards, all day and all night.

Many remember sitting on the floor by the radio listening to those old classics. However, “watching” the radio fascinated Boyer Simcox when he was a child. While listening he saw the shows in his mind, but when TV came around the shows didn’t match his imagination. Radio always remained his preference.

WBPS Studio

The radio equipment in this one room provides entertainment throughout the Cambridge area.

Just out of high school, Boyer volunteered at a radio station in Wheeling, where he did a half hour talk show called “Firing Line”. Here he interviewed many interesting guests including John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum. One special show happened at the time of the Kent State shootings and so many questions came in that the producer told him to keep going as long as listeners were interested.

Over the years, Boyer has held many intriquing positions where he was helping someone. One thing can be certain, he has always done what he wanted to do. He’s worked as Director of Social Services, Director of Area Agency on Aging, and even owned a couple restaurants, but always wanted his own radio station.

WBPS Mixing Board

Their mixing board gives Boyer opportunity to make instant changes, or set up programming ahead of time.

Back in 1984, he called the FCC to see if a frequency was obtainable. None were available at that time, so he waited. Then in 2013, the FCC released several frequencies for non-profit or community stations. Boyer applied.

One morning in 2013, while watching the Today Show with his wife Judy, Boyer happened to check the FCC site on his tablet. He was listed on their approval list! Immediately, he handed the tablet to Judy to prove he wasn’t dreaming.

WBPS Judy

Judy frequently helps by giving public service announcements.

Paperwork began. Deadline for being on the air was 18 months. He decided to purchase a package with everything he needed except the antenna. When he received it, Boyer wondered, “What have I done?” There were many unanswered questions as the package had no instructions.  Boyer used the internet for information and several small radio stations formed a forum to answer questions and share information.

Work progressed slowly until he had everything assembled and all the wires connected. But when he turned it on, nothing happened. Time was getting short for his deadline, then one night at 3:00 in the morning in November, 2014, Boyer rested in bed thinking about those wires.

WBPS CDs

A handy supply of CDs provides variety to the programmed music.

It came across his mind that two wires needed to be switched. Changing those two little wires brought his station to life. Excitedly Boyer hopped in his car and drove all over town to see how far WBPS could be heard. When he stopped on Wheeling Avenue, he looked down and discovered that he still had on his robe and slippers. However, he discovered that the station could be heard all over Cambridge.

WBPS Boyer at controls

Boyer spends many hours at the controls of WBPS, and enjoys every minute.

Now into his third year of broadcasting, he has country-wide contacts, who share their shows with him. Bluegrass from West Virginia, polkas from Minnesota, and movie tunes from New Philadelphia are a few of those connections. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a featured show as well as Bill Gaither, who agreed to share his program after just one phone call.

WBPS airs around the clock these days. People listen to it all night long and also use it in the workplace because it’s happy, up-beat music.

There’s no need for local news or sports here as AVC radio stations do an excellent job of covering those items. However, Don Keating, local amateur meteorologist, does an outstanding job of broadcasting up-to-date local weather.

WBPS Boyer and Judy

Boyer and Judy feel this is a great hobby that adds enjoyment to the listening area. Their cat, Mr. Lucky, sometimes tries a little programming himself.

Boyer and Judy Simcox feel WBPS is their gift to the community. They both participate in radio operation on and off the air. Everyplace they go, people stop and thank them for the familiar music. It made Boyer smile when a listener told him he wouldn’t get out of the car until a song was finished. That makes it all worthwhile.

Listeners tune in for the Pennyroyal live on Friday, the Wheeling Jamboree on Saturday and  then a day of spiritual songs – Our Sunday Best.

In the future, Boyer would like to feature more local groups on the air. If groups have a CD they would like to share, contact him at wbpsradio@yahoo.com . If anyone has an interest in volunteering or has ideas for the station, Boyer’s always ready to listen and is eager for more local participation.

WBPS Digital Alert System

The Emergency Digital Alert System is handy for national emergencies.

If non-profit groups would like to have announcements made on WBPS, send him an email as there is no cost. He even shares them with his network of radio friends.That’s what Community Radio is all about.

When asked what he does for fun, Boyer answered quickly, “I’m having it.” His advice to everyone would be, “Don’t be afraid to try something new.” It never occurred to him that he couldn’t do it.

Music comforts the soul, especially those songs you have known most of your life. That’s why WBPS is becoming a favorite station for seniors in the area. Twenty-four hours a day,  it plays those songs that make you smile.

Listen to WBPS 101.9 FM and you’ll find yourself singing along with those old-time favorites. You just can’t help it.

The Many Faces of Dr. Jones

Berk at dentist

Dr. Beryl Jones seems perfectly at home beside his dental chair.

Dr. Beryl K. Jones, local dentist, must have been born with music in his soul. His world revolves around music, and entertaining others as a result.

Growing up in a caring family provided real blessings in his life. His parents had a great influence on his life as his dad played trombone and his mom sang to entertain others. Some think perhaps he received his entertainment antics from her example.

Berk and his dad

A young Berky poses with his dad, Dr. B.K. Jones.

Berky, as he is commonly known in the community, made his  first serious attempt at music in 6th grade when he played drums. But during a concert, he only got a chance to play once as there were too many drummers. So he picked up his dad’s trombone and began trying his hand at it. Many don’t realize that Berky only had three trombone lessons in his life and a couple on the cello. Otherwise, he is self-taught.

Berk on pony

His love of animals began when he was a child.

Throughout high school and his years at Ohio State, Berky continued to enjoy his time playing the trombone in the Ohio State Marching Band even more than schoolwork. Since he loves animals and has from time to time had a mountain lion, bear, jaguar, moose, groundhog and more, being a veterinary crossed his mind. But even more, he wanted to come back to Cambridge and practice dentistry with his dad, Dr. B.K. Jones.

Berk at Senior Center

The Chordial Chorus tried a little audience participation at a Dickens Victorian Village brunch.

Today Berky sings in three barbershop quartets: Popular Demand, Four Flats, and Brothers, where Berky’s tenor voice rings out loud and clear. The Chordial Chorus, Cambridge Chapter of the Harmony Barbershop Society,  gets leadership from Dr. Jones. These talented voices entertain at events throughout the year and their harmony is always outstanding.

Berk Cambridge Band

For 175 years the Cambridge City Band has been delighting audiences.

One of his favorite musical groups is the Cambridge City Band, which is celebrating its 175th Anniversary this year. Berky has a long history with this band, where he started playing his trombone back in 1977. Then, one day the band was looking for a director and he thought maybe he would apply.

His previous experience at directing came from the church choir, and an unusual late night directing practice. Berk went to sleep listening to a Henry Mancini record, and pretending he was directing that band. By the way, Mr. Lucky was his favorite song.

Berk directs band

As a director, he puts his heart and soul into the music.

Berky was indeed lucky to be chosen as the next band director and has enjoyed entertaining ever since. The band and audience are lucky to have someone directing with his dedication and hard work.

Berk leading the Chicken Dance

Berky dressed as a chicken to lead the Chicken Dance.

Today Berky directs The Cambridge City Band creating concerts that are filled with fun and appreciated by many. His goal is to do whatever necessary to entertain the audience. He learned, “It’s not about you. It’s about them.” Audience participation is frequent, and quite often he surprises the audience with one of his many costumes. He really does have a room full of costumes!

Berk in clown costume at Quaker City

He even convinced other band members to join in the Clown Band.

Let’s not forget that Dr. Jones is also a local dentist with a busy practice in Cambridge, and a second office in Caldwell. His laid-back attitude makes it easy for those in his presence to sit back and relax.Since Walt Disney is one of his heroes, a large figure of Mickey Mouse can be found in his office with smaller Disney characters seen throughout.

While he has been to Disney World several times, one place he would like to visit is Alaska. The trip would be even better on Princess Cruise Lines where Cambridge’s Gordon Hough acts as musical director. Gordon even told Berky to bring along his trombone when he decides to make that voyage.

In the summertime, the Cambridge City Band presents a free concert twice a month at the City Park Pavilion, which is packed with fans and overflows onto the banks outside. To close each concert, Berky says, “Good night, John boy. It’s just me. I’ll be seeing you..and keeeeeep smilin’.”

Enjoy Musical Entertainment at the Salt Fork Festival

The Loves

The Loves Gospel Quartet

While most people think of artistic creations when headed to the Salt Fork Festival in Cambridge, Ohio, musical entertainment plays a large role in the festivities.

Jazz   Celtic   Bluegrass   Gospel   Bands   Dance   Strings  Drums

A wide variety of musical entertainment will be presented at the Salt Fork Festival from August 12-14, 2016 at the Cambridge City Park. Every day the Performing Arts Tent and Large Pavilion will be filled with music by many different groups.

Yurco Boys

The Yurco Boys

It all begins on Friday afternoon with The Yurco Boys, a talented group of young men who sing bluegrass music while strumming on their guitar, mandolin, and banjo. These young fellows are brothers and have been performing together for seven years. Their lively music is a crowd pleaser and they get better every year. Sometimes their little sister, Waverly, brings her fiddle along and joins in the fun.

Northwest Territory

Northwest Territory Bluegrass Band

They aren’t the only Bluegrass musicians this year. During the weekend you’ll also want to hear the Northwest Territory Bluegrass Band, a lively fast-moving quartet that also sings country, folk and gospel.

Buck & Company 001

Buck & Company

Buck & Company think Bluegrass people are the best people in the world and their dedication to high quality bluegrass is certain to please.

Chris Hart

Chris Hart

Chris Hart will portray a Civil War veteran in “Paws for the Cause”, a tale of Curly, a mascot during the war. This is a must see for every dog lover or Civil War buff.

Cambridge Jazz Band

Cambridge High School Alumni Jazz Band

Bands will also provide entertainment during the festival. The Cambridge High School Alumni Jazz Band brings back students who have enjoyed music over the years. Their quality of music brings listeners back again and again.

Berk Cambridge Band

Cambridge City Band

The ever popular Cambridge City Band has been active a long time. On this their 175th anniversary, you can expect some great music and even special antics by their conductor, Berk Jones. They are a pleasure all summer long at the Cambridge City Park.

Dance Central

Dance Central

Dance Central presents a vivacious program with students performing a wide variety of dances. Their dancers learn to express themselves through jazz, hip-hop, tap and ballet. This group puts on a vibrant show and often their dancers perform at community activities, such as the Cambridge Singers’ Concert or the Dickens’ Teddy Bear Tea.

 

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Toni Kellar “Roots to Rhythm”

A special feature will be Toni Kellar with her “Roots to Rhythm” program. Toni’s popular drum circles help people find their inner rhythm and soon the group is connected through this fantastic drumming technique.

PanJGea 2

PanJGea!

New to the area is a group called PanJGea from John Glenn High School. This steel drum band produces a sound and rhythm that everyone will enjoy. It’s indeed surprising to find the sound of the Caribbean here in Ohio as the band plays traditional calypso and Salo. But these youngsters also enjoy using their pans for rock and roll or doo-wop.

 

Dick Pavlov

Dick Pavlov entertains with his banjo.

Steve Miller

The talented Steve Miller strolls as he plays his guitar.

Strolling musicians throughout the weekend will play their music while walking the grounds of the festival. Dick Pavlov with his banjo and Steve Miller on guitar never seem to tire of playing.

Festival Chorus

This group has been planning the entertainment portion of the festival and have created a dynamic Festival Chorus, which will be performing on Sunday.The group consists of: Holly Phillips, Leonard Thomas, Bob Jones, Aaron Lashley, and Carol Jones. 

There is something for every musical taste during the Salt Fork Festival, August 12-14 at the Cambridge City Park. Come out and enjoy a weekend of outstanding artistic creations, fine musical entertainment, and refreshments to enjoy on a hot summer day. You may even want to try your hand at a workshop and do a little creating yourself.

Have fun at the Salt Fork Festival!

 

 

 

Every Body’s Got Rhythm

Drums Used

The Drum Circle used a wide variety of drums, such as djembe, ashiko, and tubano.

Drums! To many people the word means noise – loud noise. In truth, they set the background beat for most musical performances. But drums can also capture the rhythm of the mind, body and spirit through a little special training.

Toni Kellar does just that. Her programs, Roots to Rhythm, teach students and adults to explore their body’s rhythm through Drum Circles.  Using percussion instruments and body movements, Toni helps others find their inner beat as their creativity is boosted.

While Toni did play the snare drum in high school as a member of her marching band, it wasn’t until later in life that she discovered hand-drumming. This opened new doors for her that she had never experienced before.

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Toni shares her passion for drumming so others will find their “Roots to Rhythm”.

The name Roots to Rhythm developed as Toni felt that she was returning to her “roots” as she found a special way to share her love of “rhythm” with others. She uses the metaphor of a tree to explain her passion since the roots of the tree reach deep down for nourishment to provide food for the tree to branch out.

Her programs provide that nourishment. Starting with everyone sitting in a circle, Toni begins a basic beat on her drum, encouraging everyone to find their beat through their hands. In just a little while, she begins passing out shakers, wood blocks, and tambourines to let others experience the percussion instruments.

Kristopher

This young man takes pride in his drumming abilities. It seems the fellow drummers agree by the smiles on their faces.

Some are reluctant to join the drumming at the beginning but that soon changes. Soon there is a sparkle in their eyes and a smile on their face as they play a drum for the first time in their lives, and feel a different rhythm in their body. Adults feel young again as they do something new that perhaps feels a little silly… but is so much fun.

Then it’s time for everyone to select their own percussion instrument. What excitement to choose the piece that suits your mood. Toni starts a beat but encourages everyone to find their own beat even if it doesn’t seem to match hers. Before long the beats blend together perfectly.

Drumming explanation

Various drums and percussion instruments were explained by Toni.

Then others are called to lead the beat and partners are selected across the room to match rhythms. Time flies by as the volume changes as well as the rhythm. Loud…then soft…loud…soft. Feel the relaxation taking place as the instruments reach a quiet level. Before the evening is finished, there was a feeling of oneness as drumming not only connects to their personal rhythm, but had joined the inner rhythm of everyone in the group.

One of Toni’s most rewarding experiences was in an assisted living community where the residents danced, sang and encouraged each other to join in the drumming. This is what normally happens in this setting. However, this time the residents were Alzheimer patients and it was the first time they had reached out for that kind of interaction with each other.

Drum Circle

Toni shows calmness as she helps others find their inner rhythm.

Group drumming not only has many health benefits, but it increases the closeness of people within a group. Roots to Rhythm provides programs for corporate and professional development, health and wellness, school and youth, as well as community groups.

Professional training becomes a requirement for learning methodology to lead drum circles. Toni has completed several drum circle facilitator programs and continues enriching her life with Drumming and World Percussion workshops.

Drums Hands On

Young and old alike enjoy finding that inner rhythm.

Roots to Rhythm is not musical or spiritual, but directs everyone to express their inner rhythms. Some find relaxation, while others find it energizing – maybe even both at the same time.

For more information about Roots to Rhythm, contact Toni at http://www.rootstorhythm.com .

 

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