St. Francis University World Drumming Ensemble and Dance Performance a High-Energy Hit

Posted on 11/27/2015 10:02:02 PM

Djembe DrumOn November 9, 2015, the St. Francis World Drumming Ensemble, directed by multi-platinum recording artist and St. Francis instructor Jim Donovan, gave a high-energy performance at IUP. The ensemble performance group was comprised of students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community of Ebensburg and Loretto, Pa.

As the drummers swiftly moved in to McVitty auditorium with their Djembe drums and accommodated themselves in an organized cluster on the right side of the auditorium, below the stage, it was a sight in itself, captivating the spectators’ attention—and the show had not yet begun. Spectators were finding their way into the auditorium as well.

Then, the dance group found their space on the stage. Dressed in black leotards and colorful scarf-like skirts, they swirled, practicing a few of their moves.Dancers--Getting Started

It was time to start—everyone was in their place. A brief introduction to the group, and, as soon as the last word was pronounced—Bum! Brrum!! Brrrumble!!! The drums rumbled and shook McVitty. Donovan gave hand signals to start and end the drumming.

JimDonovan & St. Francis World Drumming EnsembleDonovan explained that drumming is a group experience. As an icebreaker to meeting people and bonding, he asked the audience to rub their hands as if warming them, and then to turn to their back and meet the person behind them to create a bond of positive energy. The rubbing of the hands was only the beginning of the interactive, multicultural drum concert. 

The St. Francis World Drumming Ensemble gave an exhilarating, enchanting, and engaging show. The audience was drawn to the music and visual dance. The infectious energy touched the audience with their joy, resulting in a truly delightful hour.

The last performance was getting everyone involved to dance. Though there were shy audience members, the dance group managed to pull a crowd to join them up front and in the back of the auditorium. Most notable, the St. Francis World Drumming Ensemble united audience members through the powerful act of community drumming.

Then, just like that the performance was over. It felt as though they had only played for 20 minutes when, in fact, an entire hour had gone by. It was a mesmerizing and incredibly powerful percussive and dance performance that stunned the audience. Audience members walked out with smiles on their faces, indicative of a job well done.

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