First and foremost, thank you to Mr Stewart for his involving Miramar High’s Drumline for this special event. Had this event not reached our school, I would still be in cognizant of such a wonderful annual event that captures the essence of the Caribbean islands, a taste of Brazil and the roots of Africa.

During the sessions of preparation, the students were able to learn more of their cultural roots. The simplicity and complexity that came with each rhythm allowed the students to expand their percussion skill set and enjoy a different genre then their norm. Mr Stewart with persistence and dedication ensured that the students were able to grasp the full concept of each beat on their drum while encouraging them to enjoy themselves by feeling the music.

At the performance time, the students were able to fully embrace Mr. Stewart’s vision for Rhythms of Africa. They shared the stage with various artists and musicians, whom played alongside them and encouraged them. As they performed, the audience was captivated by their ability to perform these rhythms with such passion and ease which gave the  audience a desire for more!

During intermission, there was a heartfelt moment where Dr. Alison Hinds offered the students words of encouragement for their future using herself of as an example of how hard work,  dedication and focused could allow them to achieve their goals.

The most enjoyable moments for me behind stage was seeing the students ad-lib and join artists in their songs which were minimally rehearsed or unrehearsed. They embraced the opportunity and poured their hearts out on the drums while dancing and enjoying such good music.

Overall, musician or not, percussionist or not, Rhythms of Africa provides a unique experience to open up our minds and hearts to the root of good music. Opportunities such as these are not easily available and offered, and I’m thankful Mr Stewart was able to give Miramar High such an experience.

I would recommend this program to any student or school looking provides this type of educational exposure to their students.

Claudia Scott, President

Patriot Soldiers Supporters Association

Miramar High School