Drum association to host 30th anniversary dinner

Lee (centre) with Goh (left) and Chai Puan at the 30th anniversary of 24 Festive Drums press conference.

THE 24 Festive Drums Association will be holding its 30th anniversary gala dinner at Wisma Hua Zong in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 20.

This will be followed by a drumming concert co-organised with Hands Percussion on Dec 8 and 9 at Istana Budaya.

The gala dinner, aimed at raising funds for the concert, will be attended by ambassadors and prominent businessmen.

Tickets will be sold at RM2,400 per table.

Association president Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew said they are looking for 24 major funders to be long-term benefactors to ensure that the art of drumming is preserved.

So far, 12 of his close business associates have pledged their support.

Lee also elicited laughter at the press conference when he joked about refunding paying audiences double the ticket price should anyone complain of a lacklustre performance.

“The concept of 24 festive drums not only represents the spirit of the two teachers, Tan Chai Puan and the late Tan Hui Song, who created and founded the movement, it is also a reflection of community spirit.

“Without this sense of comradeship, it would not have grown into what it is today,” said Lee.

From its humble beginnings as a drumming group at Foon Yew High School, Johor, in 1988, there are now more than 30,000 drummers worldwide playing in 24 season drum units.

On the upcoming concert, Hua Zong 24 Festive Drums development department head and Hands Percussion artistic director Bernard Goh said performers would be made up of first- and second-runners up of the previous years’ national and international 24 festive drumming competitions.

“The cast will be multicultural and include drummers from various age groups. The youngest is four and the oldest is in her 70s. We will also have deaf drummers in the repertoire,” said Goh.

Some 1,000 participants are expected to take part in the two-hour performance, showcasing the multicultural aspects of the country’s drumming heritage.

On what it takes for 24 drummers to move in unison to a set of rhythm patterns without missing beat, surviving co-founder of the 24 festive drums movement Chai Puan said everyone is inherently a natural drummer.

“Think about it. Everyone has a heart, a pulse which beats to a rhythmic 100,000 times a day,” he said.

For tickets, call 016-235 7033 or email 24festivedrum@gmail.com

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