On Friday May 18, 2012, over 7,200 students in grades 6th and 7th, plus thousands of spectators in the stands, gathered for “Rock the Rhythm Beat the Odds” event with the declared intention of breaking the World Guinness Record for the biggest drum circle, at the College of the Canyons, Valencia Campus, Calif. The current record is held by Hong Kong with 10,180 drummers.
“Rock the Rhythm Beat the Odds” is what resonated along with the drum beat. The actual record-breaking drum playing took only 5 minutes and it was lead my celebrity musicians, local authorities and percussionists from the makers of the drums, Remo, Inc.
This event, which took over two years of planning and followed a program originally launched through UCLA Arts and Healing, aims to prove that arts in education is important. After repetitive budget cuts, our local public schools have to drastically cut into the art education in the classrooms. However art has been proven to improve a spectrum of behavioral problems in children, including inattention, depression, anxiety, oppositional defiance, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, adding to academic achievement. It also helps building self-confidence and self-discipline, as well as social skills.
This event was produced by the College of the Canyons’ K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, the City of Santa Clarita, UCLA Arts and Healing, all five Santa Clarita Valley schools districts (William S. Hart, Sulphur Springs, Newhall, Saugus, Castaic plus the Santa Clarita International Charter School) and with the generous sponsorship of Santa Clarita-based company Remo, Inc.
Remo produced and distributed over 11,000 commemorative sound shapes (hand-held percussive instruments) that were used to break the record.
Among celebrities that rocked the rhythm along with the students, were: -Mickey Hart drummer for the Grateful Dead, directing he event; -John Densmore, drummer for the Doors and more; Bahareh Moghtadaei, music educator/Therapist; Chalo Eduardo, percussionist and entertainer performed with Sergio Mendes, Santana, Mickey Hart, educator and choreographer; C.G. Ryche; Mike DeMenno; Gorden Campbell, percussionist working with Whitney Houston, Jessica Simpson; Eric Hernandez; Rikki Rockett from Poison; Poncho Sanchez and more.