He said that the plans being made for “Heatbeat 2011” are already indicating that the event will be a spectacular and riveting showcase of the drum, accentuated by other instruments, vocals and poetry.
Phipps, who is a Drumming Specialist at the Department of Culture, is recently quoted to have said that this year’s Heartbeat will centre on the United Nations (UN) theme of The International Year for People of African Descent.
According to a UN statement, one of the objectives of proclaiming 2011 as such, is in order to “promote greater awareness of respect for the diverse heritage and culture of people of African descent.”
Building on this thought, Mr. Phipps revealed that he came up with the concept of celebrating people of the mentioned descent by demonstrating the importance of the drum as a means of ceremony, communication and festivity.
He stressed that the drum has always been a key element of music in terms of setting the rhythm as well as creating the tone and mood of a piece. As such, well known local singers are set to move the audience with renditions of Negro Spirituals and gospel melodies against the backdrop of the drums.
The various music elements will be expertly drawn together by the creative expressions of one of the upcoming poets in the Federation, Stephen Smith aka L.O.V., who will host the proceedings. As customary, the venue will be transformed and murals will showcase historical figures of international, regional and local significance that have impacted the unique culture of the Federation.
Performances are expected from drum corps of the various schools, the National Youth Drum Corp, the participants of the recent Female Drumming Workshop and the Okolo Tegremantine Drummers. Traditional instruments which will be showcased include the kettle and bass. There will also be special presentations in dance. Mr. Phipps revealed that Heartbeat 2011 will take place in early June at the Wesley Methodist Boys School known as the Old Boys School. There is no admission fee.