The “Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds” event took place at the Cougar Stadium of the College of the Canyons, in Valencia, Calif., on May 18, 2012. All students from participating Santa Clarita school districts and local residents had to play their sound shapes (hand-held percussive instruments) for five minutes to beat the previous world record.
The event was an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records, for the largest drum circle. The Hong Kong Federation of Yong Groups currently holds the world record for the largest ensemble of 10,045 drummers. This was achieved at the Hong Kong Coliseum in China, on June 29, 2007.
In preparation for the event, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center K-12 Arts Education Program facilitated hands-on music lessons for nearly 7,600 sixth- and seventh-graders from the Santa Clarita Valley’s school districts in the past year. In addition, nearly 4,000 local residents were expected to join the event as well.
The College of the Canyons, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center K-12 Arts Education Program, The City of Santa Clarita, UCLA Arts and Healing, and Santa Clarita Valley school districts, organized the event. There was also special participation from celebrity drummers like Francis Awe, Bahareh Moghtadei, Chalo Eduardo, CG Ryche, Mike DeMenno, Gordon Campbell, Mike Philips, Eric Hernandez, Rikki Rockett (Poison), John Densmore (The Doors), Pancho Sanchez, and Mickey Hart (The Grateful Dead). Remo Belli, founder of REMO Inc., helped to make the event possible and provided 12,000 sound shapes that were handed out to students and local residents for the event.
The “Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds” event also paved the way to raise awareness of the value of arts education as a vital component in the development of ‘The Whole Child.’
(Photos by Jhanine Nicole Sanchez)