WALLINGFORD — Evangeline Mendoza, director of the Spanish Community of Wallingford’s Music School, wanted to bring in members of the community to share talents with children. On a recent Friday creativity and a pounding rhythm filled the air during SCOW’s community drumming event.
Mendoza contacted Mark Zarillo, a versatile drummer, to be the drum circle facilitator. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Mendoza purchased drums for students in SCOW’s Mariachi Academy. She asked Zarillo if he would be willing to host two sessions of drumming for beginners.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a samba band,” Mendoza said. “But first we have to start with basic drumming.”
This is Zarillo’s first time working with SCOW and he was impressed with the outcome. The class was put in a circle, with Zarillo giving each section a traditional rhythm to copy.
“Traditional rhythm is not really meant for younger kids so it was impressive to see them tackle the challenge,” Zarillo said.
The different ages in the group made it challenging to flow together, but he felt the drummers did a good job.
Mendoza plans on continuing the community drumming circle during the fall and winter because it’s an indoor activity.
“It gives kids something to do on a Friday night,” said Mendoza. “My goal is to create a center where kids can be creative and explore their passions.”
Instruments donated by the community are crucial because many of the students aren’t able to afford their own, Mendoza said.
The community drumming event will be held the first Friday of the month going forward. All ages are welcome and the event will be held in two sessions. The adult session, 18 and up, will be from 6 to 7 p.m. while the youth session is 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The event will be held at SCOW’s building, 284 Washington St., with a suggested donation of $5. Before each event, a flyer will be posted on SCOW’s Facebook Page. Individuals are encouraged to bring their own drums if they have them, but if not, SCOW will provide drums. No pre-registration is required for the event. Masks are required.