Calling all country drummers!

(That’s my daughter there, at the back. Second from left. In the red. Look at them drum!)

The awesome Wai Taiko Japanese Drummers are on the look-out for new members – now’s your chance to beat a drum.

Group leader Lianne Stephenson says they haven’t recruited for about five years and she’s sure there are people out there keen to give the art of Japanese drumming a go.

“We had a really good, solid core of keen and committed members but with people having babies and moving towns to further their careers, the ensemble is excited about welcoming some fresh blood.’’

As it happens, one of their enthusiastic members was from Gordonton – young Iris Riddell, co-founder of Number 8 Network. Lianne didn’t say – but clearly thought it – that folk from the rural greeness north-east of Hamilton make just fine drummers. (She also didn’t say that Ms Riddell is one of the members who has selfishly gone to live in Taupo to further her career, ed.)

Wai Taiko’s aims are to showcase a unique Japanese performance art with their big drums, mesmerising choreography and tribal rhythms.

‘‘Taiko is like nothing else. You can’t beat the sound, sight and feeling of the pulse right through your body.’’

By all accounts, she says, doing is better than watching and while there is a lot to learn, taiko is accessible for those who haven’t played music before as it does not require sheet music.

“Taiko is very fulfilling to learn and perform, and our members have become passionate and dedicated to the art – and quite physically fit too!”

Contact Lianne if you are interested in finding out more. Country people make great drummers! Or phone 021 295 9450.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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