Drum circle prepares for May 4

Josh Echt

The steady beat of loud, powerful drums is set against the backdrop of peaceful, serene candles lit at the May 4 Memorial.

The 15 drummers sit in a circle, swaying to the beat.

Strangers, students and a faculty member trickle in, while someone breaks out a pair of maracas.

The May 4 Task Force held a drum circle last night at the May 4 Memorial outside of Taylor Hall. More than 30 people showed up to watch the drummers while a steady drizzle fell.

Sophomore Spanish major Colleen Malone said she heard about the drum circle through word-of-mouth.

Although she is not a member of the task force, she said events such as the drum circle motivate her to participate in its events.

“A sense of community is formed during events like these,” Malone said. “It shows we’re drumming for peace.”

Amanda John, senior integrated science major and member of the May 4 Task Force, said the best part about the drum circle revolved around the atmosphere.

“It creates a peaceful atmosphere around the memorial,” John said.

Tuesday’s event was the first time the task force used the drum circle at the May 4 Memorial, John said.

The task force started planning the event in February, said May 4 Task Force president Kevin Heade, senior political science and education major.

Heade’s motivation to use the drum circle for the May 4 Task Force events came from a recent reflection, he said. Heade also said he experienced drum circles in the past at music festivals.

“I was sitting by the memorial, writing a personal entry in my journal when I was overwhelmed by this feeling to do something,” Heade said. “I thought, ‘The drum circle’s a way to do this times a million.’ The purpose of the drum circle is to give people an opportunity to connect and tap into their collective sense of being. By exploring our collective history, we are actively reflecting on a powerful event.”

The task force, in existence since the 1970s, will feature May 4 events throughout the week, Heade said.

“Our mission is to find events that connect May 4 to students that are alive today,” he said.

Contact general assignment reporter Josh Echt at [email protected]