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April 3, 2014

Drumming up some fun

COMMERCE — Have you ever wondered what it takes to be part of a drum line at a university?

Brian Zator, director of percussion at Texas A&M University-Commerce, wants Hunt County residents to find out.

The A&M-Commerce Percussion Association is hosting its “Second Annual Drum Fun!” with drum-themed carnival games open for the community from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the A&M-Commerce Amphitheatre located southwest of Memorial Stadium.

Zator said he was brainstorming ideas to both raise funds for and spread the word about the department.    

“I kind of just came up with it one day,” he said. “I was wanting to do something for the community.”

The event has a distinct carnival theme with different drum games for people to play, including games featured last year, plus two new games.

One new game is “rudimentary logic” where players race by playing the correct notes on different percussion instruments before the other player. Another, which is a target practice, involves a combination of drill marching and wet sponges.

“We will have students marching a drill as people peg them with wet sponges,” he said.

Returning games and attractions include an instrument petting zoo where people can look at and try out many different percussion instruments used throughout the years, percussion obstacle course and other games, as well as percussion shows playing throughout the evening.

Zator said he hopes to bring people into the university to not only learn more about the department, but also just to have fun.

“The exposure to the percussion studio, to how much fun you can have with percussion instruments in a traditional and non-traditional way,” he said. “It is a way for us to give back. A fun, family-friendly event.”

The department is also hosting a free concert tonight at 7:30 p.m. inside the Jack and Lou Finney Concert Hall at A&M-Commerce.

The concert will include performances by the Panimation Steel Band, the Brazilian Ensemble and the Percussion Ensemble.

The event is free with snacks and soft drinks available for purchase.

Donations to the department will be accepted as well.

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