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Jun 10, 2005

Hopkins youth carry on musical traditions

Story PictureThey came all the way from Hopkins Village to promote their new C.D. But for these young performers, making music is not necessarily about making money…it’s about carrying on their culture. News Five met the young drummers at the House of Culture in Belize City this morning.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
These young boys, who are between the ages of ten and fifteen years old are really not into hip hop or rap music, instead they get a real sense of pride playing their own cultural music. The Lebeha Drummers have only been playing together as a group for two years, but these children, who live in Hopkins Village, have been making music on their own for sometime.

Ronald Williams, 15 years old
?We want to get real with our culture. We want to show our teacher that we can do better.?

?We learn by watching our people play, the older guys, watching how they play, so we get it.?

The young musicians say they learned to play the drums, turtle shells, and shakas by watching the older folks from the village. A couple of years ago they started receiving lessons through the Lebeha Drumming Centre. American Dorothy Petterson, who is married to a Belizean, says her husband has taught her a lot about his culture and she too is now helping the youths to preserve the Garifuna culture through music.

Dorothy Petterson, Co-founder, Lebeha Drumming Centre
?Right now they are very committed. They practice almost everyday. There?s a core of them of ten that come from time to time. Not every boy everyday, but there is always somebody coming and practicing and using the instruments that we got, and they are very committed.?

The children have released their first CD entitled ?Lebeha Drumming.? The boys have been playing at social functions and are also a hit with tourists visiting their coastal fishing village. The children are already inspiring their peers to keep their culture alive.

Lebeha Drummers
?Just continue with the culture.?

?Just watch how people play the drums and let them learn.?

?Let them learn so well and don?t leave the culture.

?Let them practise a lot and try to do it how we do it.?

Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

The Lebeha Drummers consists of eight members. The boys featured in the story are thirteen-year-old Clayton Williams, thirteen-year-old Nicholas Joseph, fourteen-year-old Warren Martinez, and fifteen-year-old Ronald Williams. The C.D. is available at the Lebeha Drumming Centre in Hopkins for thirty-five dollars.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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