Circus musicians drum

24 May 2006

The music enthusiasts at UCT's South African College of Music (SACM) got a treat last week when drum group 6 to 1 hosted a loud and lusty workshop at the Baxter Concert Hall. The drum corps group is made up of six American drummers and percussionists, pulled together from all corners of the US, specifically for the South African tour of the Great Moscow Circus, now on. (The organisers, it appears, wanted to pull in the drum-mad South African crowds.) In the show, the six back up a couple of the other acts, like the acrobats, but also have their own slots in the programme. All performers in 6 to 1, notably the group's Larry Cauley, cut their drumming teeth in the grand tradition of American marching bands. Their powerhouse performance - the ear drums take a bashing as well - borrows liberally from that heritage, down to a few military-parade steps. But for their circus act, the group has introduced a few new moves, like some drumstick tossing. If their flashy Baxter routine is anything to go by, 6 to 1 is certainly worth catching.

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