2017 Artist in Residence Randy Armstrong

AIR 2017 Group DrumGo! Boom! Do! Boom!  Those were the words and sounds echoing through the halls of Charles Ott Academy recently when Artist in Residence, Randy Armstrong, visited our students to create a symphony of multicultural sounds and rhythms on his collection of worldly instruments.  With Randy’s guidance, students got to practice West African rhythms on the traditional djembe and create an orchestra of melodies using instruments from North Africa, including the oud and the tar drum.  In addition to joining Randy in his music, students were also treated to hearing Randy play songs from India, Brazil and China using authentic instruments from those countries.  With each pounding of the drum and plucking of the strings on these unique instruments, students were transported by sight and sound to a different part of the world.

Randy Armstrong is no stranger to the Strafford Learning Center and has been engaging students in multicultural music for years.  His unique blend of involving the audience with the music of many countries and teaching a brief history of the significance of the instrument, whether it be woodwind, percussion or string, offers a learning experience like no other.  We were very fortunate to have Randy pay us this special visit, especially as it coincides with the culmination of Ms. Lipka’s World Cultures class.  As the last drum beat resounded off of the old mill walls, we were left with a better knowledge and appreciation of a much bigger world than any of us could ever explore alone.