The Beta chapter of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority Inc. in conjunction with Drumstrong hosted Drum Circle: Beating Cancer Thursday August 28th in the Bragaw Activity Room to bring a variety of students together and raise cancer awareness.
“I feel that [the program] reflects the unity our sorority is trying to promote. It is very enlightening to learn about other people’s cultures and be more united as one” added Jamila Robinson, a junior in biological sciences and vice president of the chapter “I feel a lot of togetherness and support.”
Drum circles are used as a tool for unity through basic use of rhythm. Students were able to walk into the program at anytime, take a seat in a circle of chairs and drums, play and join in the two hour almost non-stop jam session to beat cancer. Drums weren’t the only instruments at the program. Cow bells, tambourines, and rainmakers are just a few of the other tools of sound students could use to add to the mix. Students could drum for as long as they wanted and a donation bucket was available for to contribute to the cause. T-shirts and other paraphernalia were for sale as well as information about drumStrong’s upcoming events.
According to the organization’s official website,, Drumstrong is “an event that encourages people of all ages to focus on cancer awareness, education, support and funding for cancer concerns.” Its founder Scott Swimmer was motivated not only by his son’s successful battle with a rare form of bone cancer, but by his love for music and belief that “rhythm touches everybody.”
“It was fun interesting and a stress reliever and very friendly everyone was just like come in” said Kristina Johnson a freshman animal science.
Usually people register to beat a drum at one of Drumstrong’s big drum circle events, and then rally up sponsors to donate a certain amount of money for however long they drum. Theta Nu Xi’s program allowed students a chance to contribute and participate right on campus. Proceeds go to the Levine Children’s Hospital – Hematology/Oncology Center at Carolinas Medical Center and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
At one point in the program, students had to make music using either their own body by clapping, stomping their feet or singing their rhythm. The Drumstrong facilitators also encouraged students to get up and dance in the middle of the circle.
When asked if dancing in the middle of a circle was different, Buelto responded “No, it’s more awesome.”
Exhilarating, mesmerizing, emotional, awesome, fun, lively, and anger management, were just a few of the words students mentioned describing in one word what they thought of the experience. However, they had a lot more to say.
“It was just freeing and loud and colorful” said Elaina Turner a freshman in philosophy. “It was invigorating and a different way of expressing yourself” added Keandra McNeil a freshman biological sciences.
“I loved feeling the energy in the room, it was fantastic like I could just grab a drum and start beating. I came in and felt right at home” said Krystal Ewing a senior in industrial engineering.
Erin Moore, a senior in meteorology and environmental science said “It was very energizing and had a good purpose. It involved interaction not only with drums but people around as well”
It’s not just drumming just because. It’s drumming for a purpose. LaDonna Joseph, a senior in biological sciences and president of the Beta chapter of Theta Nu Xi. said “I think it went very well. We’re going to do it again next year. Next time [it will be] bigger and better outside on Harris field, with food and more donation opportunities.”