A local retired teacher is offering African drumming classes to adults to raise money to send North Grenville District High School’s (NGDHS) drumming group to Nationals. Heather Lance has been teaching African drumming to students for over 10 years. She fell in love with the instrument when she was doing her undergrad at Ottawa University, and has translated her passion into extracurricular activities and courses at both South Branch Elementary School and NGDHS. Now retired, Heather is leading a for-credit, after school program at NGDHS for students from grade eight to 12. The 47-student group (called Big BaNG) recently competed in Capital Region Music Fest and qualified for the national competition to be held at the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa. “They worked really hard, and it paid off,” Heather says.

Participating in the competition is quite expensive, with a registration fee of $579 per group and $92 per student. To offset the costs, Heather is offering a five-week African drumming course for adults, to be held at NGDHS every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m..

This is not the first time Heather has offered African drumming for adults, so she knows how much fun it can be. “It’s really relaxing,” she says. “We all have fun together.”

The course is a great way for adults to unwind and try something new. “You’re never too old to learn, and it works your brain really well,” Heather says. This is also the only course of its kind in North Grenville and surrounding area. “[Otherwise] you would have to go to Gatineau for adult drumming,” Heather says. “It’s nice to have something local.”

The cost of the course is $100, with all the money raised being used to send the high school group to Nationals. Heather says it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the kids, as they will get the opportunity to play on stage at the NAC and be adjudicated by experienced percussionists.

The first adult class was on Tuesday, March 26, but Heather says there are still spaces for people who want to attend the rest of the sessions. To sign up, or lean more about the group, contact Heather directly at heather.lance@ucdsb.on.ca.

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