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Drumming up support at Drum-a-thon

September 03, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - If you want to anger a drummer, local percussionist Edgar Myers explained, tell the joke about how a band has four musicians.

"And a drummer," Myers said.

Respect is part of the reason Myers will be banging it out at Chambersburg Mall on Saturday, for the Cumberland Valley School of Music's charity 2009 Drum-a-thon.

The Cumberland Valley School of Music (CVSM) is a music-education nonprofit based at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., with programs at private schools throughout Pennsylvania and in Hagerstown. More than 600 students are enrolled at the CVSM.

During the Drum-a-thon, people can pledge dollar amounts based on the number of hours Myers plays. The event starts at 10 a.m. and will go on for at least six hours, said Myers, a 53-year-old percussion instructor at CVSM who's bringing a drum kit and several percussion instruments with him.

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"I'm not going to be playing Led Zeppelin-powered, high-speed stuff for six hours," Myers said. "I'll just go with the moods."

Andrew Sussman, the CVSM's executive director, said the school is in the same bind as other nonprofits trying to attract donors in a tough economy.

"Hopefully the Drum-a-thon will draw more attention to what we do," Sussman said.

Myers, who lives with his wife in Mont Alto, said he fell in love with drums at age 7, when he saw The Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. "Seeing Ringo play and shake his head like that," Myers said. "I decided I wanted to do that."

By age 17, Myers was a self-taught drummer gigging steadily with professional bands, with some sets taking him to places like The Lord Baltimore Hotel in downtown Baltimore. Myers would go on to study music theory in college. He currently plays with rock group Faze3.

"I knew I had something other than rhythm that I wanted to express," Myers said.

On Saturday, Myers said he's hoping to inspire other young people to pick up a drumstick and remind people that drums are more than just beefed-up timekeepers.

"I have a tough time with guys with that bash-and-crash approach to drums," Myers said. "I can take the cymbals and make melodies. It's not just about finding the two and the four (beats), while the guitar player gets all the glory."




If you go ...



WHAT:

2009 Drum-a-thon, a Cumberland Valley School of Music fundraiser featuring drum teacher Edgar Myers

WHEN:

10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. The event will go on until at least 4 p.m.

WHERE:

Chambersburg Mall, Center Stage, 3055 Black Gap Road, Chambersburg, Pa.

COST:The Cumberland Valley School of Music is accepting pledges based on the number of hours Myers plays. To pledge, go to www.cvsmusic.org/drum-a-thon_pledge.htm

MORE: Learn more about the Cumberland Valley School of Music online, at www.cvsmusic.org.

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