Peter Tam leads the “Drums Gone Wild” Nepal fundraising event at WildPlay Element Park in Maple Ridge on the weekend.

Drumming for Nepal

Maple Ridge musician Peter Tam says he has always believed drumming has a healing effect on people.

Maple Ridge musician Peter Tam says he has always believed drumming has a healing effect on people.

Whether it is the pure rhythmic percussive sound they can produce or the physical act of making music that promotes healing, he could not quite decide, but he strongly agrees with the common belief drum circles are therapeutic.

“Undeniably, there’s a healing effect from drumming,” he says.

The drummer, pianist, songwriter and community advocate felt compelled by this belief alone to have his local project “Drums Gone Wild” take part in Nepal relief efforts that were happening at Spanish Banks in Vancouver and WildPlay Element Park in Maple Ridge simultaneously on the weekend.

Just like other disaster relief efforts Tam has orchestrated in the past, this weekend’s event was an important contribution to the overall effort to assist those devastated by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April that leveled communities and left thousands of individuals homeless, maintains Tam.

“Every little thing that we do with our lives contributes to the bigger picture,” he says.

Ensuring the event took place prior to the subsidy deadline of May 25 was crucial, explains Tam who wanted to ensure every Nepal donation made was matched by the federal government.

The Drums Gone Wild group has been playing at WildPlay every Sunday from 4 to 5 p.m. since April 24 and will continue until June 12.

Tam, who leads and instructs the group, says the initiative is just getting started so the groups have not been big. But if it continues next year, he hopes to see it grow in size.

Experienced in promoting events, Tam says he and park staff collaborated on the drum group idea when they saw the success of musical events taking place at Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Although the weekend’s event only brought in $45 in donations, Tam says the drumming proved popular with many children dancing to the beat of the group.

“Definitely the entertainment component was the highlight.”


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