The Deerfield Ukulele and Drum Ensemble is a new club that allows students, with any range of musical talent, to pick up a bongo drum or a ukulele and jam with other Deerfield students. This student-run club highlights the belief that anyone can be a musician: no previous experience required.
“The club first originated on the Italy trip over the summer, [when] Ju Hwan and I purchased conga drums from street vendors in Sicily,” explained Harry Reichert ’14. “The idea is for anyone to be able to express his or her hidden musical talent.”
Ju Hwan Park urges students to participate in the club, adding that being musically aware is something that everyone intrinsically has, no matter their level of musical experience. “Many kids at Deerfield think that they need some kind of special power to start music and learn a new instrument,” said Park. “They think they are either too late or too busy to be part of it. However, don’t we all love music? We listen to it every day, sing in the shower, tap on the desk during class, and are unknowingly part of it daily.”
The idea of opening the club for all students, with no regard to skill level proved appealing, and new faces showed consistently showed up at the Tuesday night practices. The club has so far received resounding approval for its different pace and approach.
“I love the club!” exclaimed Tatiana Dash ’16. “I think it’s a great time for different students to come together and try out the drums or the ukulele. It’s a wide mix of students—all different grades and talents. Ukulele and Drum Ensemble is the highlight of my Tuesdays!”
“I love the Ukulele and Drum Ensemble because it has the feel of a garage band,” commented Eileen Russell ’15. “It gives us a chance to make music without the structure of other Deerfield music ensembles. I hope it serves as a model for other groups like it to form in the future.”
With its inclusive style, the club wants to engage anyone remotely interested, according to ukulele player extraordinaire Logan Knight ’17: “We started the ukulele club because we felt Deerfield’s ukulele community was severely underrepresented. But actually we wanted to do it purely for fun. I am sure that if you ask anyone in the club, they have either taught something or learned something—and in doing so, it has been really enjoyable.”