Wired PR Works by Barbara Rozgonyi

Real-izing Your Virtual Identity

55 Drumrolls Please . . .

Posted by barbararozgonyi on August 18, 2006

Thanks to the Chicago Tribune, Glen Ellyn Sun and Daily Herald for their coverage of this event sponsored by First Church of Glen Ellyn, a United Methodist Congregation.

Last Sunday, the street in front of 424 Forest Avenue in downtown Glen Ellyn was barricaded. In Glen Ellyn, there are only two ways to do that: throw a block party or dig up a street.

In this case, it was neither. Now while getting a village to agree to close off a block for an hour or two might seem like NBD, it is here – especially on a Sunday.

For approximately 32 minutes, a group of youngsters from the wrong side of town made quite a ruckus right outside of a sanctuary.

And, we proudly let them.

After all, many of the Claremont Academy students had never ever been outside of their own noisy neighborhood, called Engelwood – one of the most dangerous places to grow up in Chicago.

Families filled the parkways, surrounding Claremont Academy’s drum line with expectant spectators. Fifty-five students in grades 3-8 make up the school’s drum line.

As the school group set up their formation, I must admit I wasn’t expecting too much. With at least three professional drummers in the family and mega hours of marching myself, I know a good snare line when I hear one.

What I heard surprised me – the repertoire went on for seven songs with flags and dancers adding visual accents fitting every piece. Clearly, these kids have talent. Their part-time director is their visionary.

I couldn’t resist talking to the kids after their performance. Here’s what I found out: they practice 3 hours every day, they absolutely love what they do. Yes, they are bursting with pride. What they didn’t tell me [but I already knew] is that their school needs new uniforms and gently used instruments to continue their program.

Contact me at connect@corywestmedia.com if you’d like to contribute cash, an instrument or school supplies.

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