According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, roughly 1 billion people around the world, many of them children, are malnourished. The organization known as Global Drummers Alliance for Hunger Relief is addressing the issue on January 14, 2012, at 2 p.m. Central Time (3 p.m. Eastern, 12 p.m. Pacific) by creating a project whereby drummers in communities across the world will host a “hunger beat-down.”
The drummers will simultaneously play a the popular drum solo “Three Camps,” which replicates the kind of drumming used by army camps during the Civil War to communicate with each other. The group is using the symbolism to raise awareness about world hunger and encourage citizens to help feed the starving children.
Professional players, educators, and students will gather at schools, music stores and other public locations to play along. The idea for the hunger beat-down came from Marv Dahlgren, an internationally known Twin Cities percussionist who was principal percussionist of the Minnesota Orchestra for forty-eight years and is a celebrated percussion educator and author.
“I’m concerned that the world is not paying enough attention to the incredible famine that exists in Africa and other countries across the world,” Dahlgren says. “I believe those of us who live in the richest nation on earth owe it to the starving children of the world to help them survive the ravages of famine. I want to keep beating the drum to make sure we don’t forget about the millions of children who are losing their lives every day to starvation.”
Event participants can interact via the internet with the Alliance’s website, www.drumforfood.com, so that they might play along with the host performance of the solo, which will be streaming live in real-time from McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Dahlgren has worked closely with Twin Cities percussionist David Stanoch to organize the hunger beat-down. Stanoch is a prolific drummer who has played with some of the best-known musicians around the world and is a noted educator and award-winning author. Dahlgren and Stanoch both teach at McNally Smith College of Music.
“The goal is to raise awareness,” Stanoch says. “We are not collecting money. There are excellent, vested organizations such as UNICEF and more with the means to accept donations already in place, and we encourage people to donate to them. We are using the drums just as they were used ages ago in Africa: to send a message. People are starving. Right now. We believe if more people understand that, more people will help to turn the tide.”