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Big Bang promotes drumming among all ages (video)

ALLISON MILES

By ALLISON MILES
June 9, 2012 at 1:09 a.m.
Updated June 10, 2012 at 1:10 a.m.

Matt Teodori, left, and Tom Burritt play a Rumba beat that gets Crossroads kids moving and shaking on Saturday during the Victoria Bach Festival's Big Bang event. Through the event, kids and kids at heart learned percussion basics and tried their hand at the instruments.

Cleo Daugherty lived out every 6-year-old's dream on Saturday afternoon. She got to make a racket in the library.

The tiny redhead with the shy smile was among the 100 or so people who ventured to the Victoria Public Library for Big Bang, a hands-on look at percussion instruments.

It was part of the 2012 Victoria Bach Festival, which wrapped up Saturday evening.

Throughout the hourlong event, Bach Festival Orchestra member Tom Burritt discussed percussion basics with both the young and young at heart. With help from fellow orchestra member Matt Teodori, he demonstrated various techniques before asking for audience participation.

A catchy Rumba beat got the entire crowd moving, with grown-ups clapping and playing the claves, kids rattling hand-held shakers and even some pint-sized dancers showing their moves.

Nina Di Leo, the Victoria Bach Festival Association's executive director, said events such as Big Bang are a good way for children to get their feet wet in the musical world.

"It's a good introduction to some pretty important concepts in making music," she said. "But it's doing it in a way that's very approachable, and very fun."

Burritt, percussion director with the University of Texas at Austin's Butler School of Music, said it was important to expose children to music early in life.

"There needs to be a lot more programs like this, in my opinion," he said, explaining it can be difficult to find musicians and organizations that want to take that extra effort. "That's what's great about the Bach Festival."

Saturday's presentation was an invitation to chaos, Burritt said with a laugh, as tiny hands pounded away at the drums. And the presentation takes some planning.

"It's always difficult when you have young and old in the crowd, but it looked like they were having fun," he said.

Such was the case for Lurlyn Whitley, a 91-year-old woman who attended with her daughter, Charlyn Sciacca.

Although the women didn't know exactly what the event was going into it, they said they enjoyed it just as much as the little ones did.

"We might have some new musicians here in Victoria," Whitley said as she watched the children and clapped to the beat.

And that could very well be the case, at least for one little girl.

Cleo she said she was glad for the musical excursion, which was loud, but not too loud. She said she hoped to play music once she got a little bigger.

"I want to play drums," she said.

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