Lilly Legacy-Zierer picked up the drumming bug playing the snare in her high school marching band. From there, she moved on to a Djembe troupe, the Fire Drums Festival and a host of other percussive pursuits.
And now, she’s the leader of the Frontenac Skies Community Drummers, a group of a dozen drummers ranging in age from 8-13.
“We’re currently rehearsing for the Frontenac’s Got Talent Show, Feb. 16,” she said while putting the kids through their paces at Rural Frontenac Community Services Child Centre in Sharbot Lake.
Armed with support from Blue Skies in the Community, a grant from Community Foundation of Kingston and Area and some buckets donated by Home Hardware in Sharbot Lake, Legacy-Zierer has embarked on a journey to bring world drumming styles together in the northern Frontenacs.
“I was assistant choir director for Young Choristers North when some bucket drummers came and I said ‘why aren’t we doing this?,’” she said. “I went to GREC and told them I’d do this on a volunteer basis and we had 28 students.
“But how can we make this sustainable?”
So, she partnered with Blue Skies in the Community and Rural Frontenac Community Services.
“The sole purpose of this is to have a performance-ready group to support community events, like the Heritage Festival and Santa Claus Parades,” she said.
And, it also gives kids the change to let off some steam.
“Drummers have a lot of energy,” she said. “And this is a way to channel it.
“This is something brand new and it’s based on the West African Dun Dun style of drumming so it’s not only drumming but movement too.”
She said they started off with rudimentary beats using recycled materials and gradually started adding world styles.
“Our bass drum is an old tire I had,” she said. “But it’s extremely rewarding.
“I regularly get parents thanking me.”
She said she’d like to build the program with an international drumming group of high school students and they’ll be holding open auditions for the current group in late February.
“We’ll likely bring in one or two more but that might be difficult because most of the kids say ‘I’m not leaving,’” she said. “My Grade 8 student, Draven Caddick, said he’s coming back to help when he gets to high school to get his volunteer hours.”