The photo below introduces our newest Biblical Drum group. They are from the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island. Welcome, each one of you! The women were introduced to the Biblical Drum by the Rev. David Atwood, the minister. The group is made up of United Church of Canada women from the area.

David writes: “I have been teaching them konnokol  to get the rhythm basics down (these women might be the 1st UCW group in the UCC to practice Konokkol!).  We performed the Magnificat with the Maqsuum rythmn during Advent at a Roman Catholic Church in the area. I’m planning on working with them on the Easter Passion piece you published on the Holy Rhythms website next.”

Can life be more exciting??? How many of our other drum circles know what Konokkol is? I don’t!!! David….???

And the idea of Maqsuum to share the Magnificat with a congregation is equally ground-breaking! Wonderful! Wonderful! And wonderfully brilliant inspiration!

Know that the Easter Passion piece on this website is a very, very powerful piece. We begin to realize just how sacred our drum is. The final breath of Jesus on the cross as a brushing stroke on our tar helps each drummer to experience just what it is to ‘hold’ the Sacred in one’s hands. That is humbling for all of us.  

New Congregation hears Tar for the first time!

With great excitement, I opened the email that came to me in May, 2018. It was from Cooperman Fife and Drums forwarding to me an email from Roger Stratton in Guardian Angels Church, Oakdale Minnesota. Roger followed up on Patrick Cooperman's suggestion to check out this website and, in July, 2018,  Roger emailed me, grateful for the information and videos on our site! 

A second email arrived in July, 2018 from Roger. This one included a link to the "video of our first use of the tar in liturgy.  It’s a rehearsal for a program we’re giving tonight of music in honor of Mary Magdalene."   Congratulations, Roger! And welcome to the wonderful world of returning the frame drum to its rightful and historic place in public and private worship! 

Here is the link to experience this initiative moment we all celebrate:


Again, congratulations to Roger and to the chorus in the worship service. Layne would have been so interested and pleased to know this was happening! 


Honouring the summer

The Ottawa Biblical Drummers met in a member's home for a special meditation program and pot-luck lunch. It turns out these drummers are absolutely marvellous chefs, wonderful host and guests, gifted drummers and great sign language learner!  We have been learning "By Breath," a song by Sarah Thomsen, and our hostess taught us to sign this wonderful song!. It will become part of our summer (and on-going) repertoire!  We give thanks to the Holy One who breathes us together and inspires us to grow into Holy Presence through our drums. So many blessings, health, and prayerful aspirations flow! Thank-you, loving God of All! 


A Frame Drum at Grad!

Drummer David Atwood is again making news, and breaking down old barriers!!!  Yess!!!

David has completed the required academic training to become an ordained clergy with the United Church of Canada. During his years in seminary, he experienced the Tar's 'magic' aka the Spirit's pull! He pursued various drum teachers and learned with them. For, he sensed a deep call to integrate this drum with Christian ministry, both worship leadership and pastoral care leadership in particular. 

Here is what he shares with us: 

I performed this piece on the Tar at Rockingham United Church. I also performed it at the Atlantic School of Theology convocation this year. This piece was inspired by my use of the Tar in the healing context during my Clinical Pastoral Education training unit which was part of his required training. 

Check David's drumming out at http://www.rockinghamunited.org/Audio/audios/Papaguan%20Celebration.mp3

May David's drumming continue to bless his ministry and enable our drum to speak once again to the hearts and spirits of every worshipper.


A Welcomed Return!

Here in Ottawa (Canada) recently, we've had very icy weather conditions. One of our drummers fell and broke a femur. Surgery was required, and possibly hip replacement. Our whole group drummed Omalu and Tenfold for her, anxiously waiting for news: did she have the surgery? was it hip replacement? how is she? where is her rehab taking place? When will she be home? 

Then suddenly, our liaison drummer sent out a surprising email: she was home and planning to return to drumming that week! We couldn't believe such news but rejoiced that this could possibly be true!  How wonderful!!! And thus she walked in -not on crutches but merely with a walker! It turns out once in surgery, doctors realized that, with two screws inserted, they could repair her femur! How wonderful x2!

This is a photo of our some of the group presenting her with our gift of welcome. 


Beginner's Workshop !

Our next Beginner's Workshop takes place in Ottawa, Ontario. The Ottawa Intermediate Biblical Drummers will be your friendly and knowledgable hosts!  

Come have fun! Come learn about Miriam and  the Biblical women  who drummed as their chosen form of  prayer and worship! Come hear how Layne Redmond uncovered this tradition and brought it alive again in our day, re-introducing this frame drum in places like Crete, Scandinavia, Brazil, across the US and now in Canada.

The number of drums available is limited, so let us know soon you'd like to be a participant and we will reserve a drum for you!

Further details are in the downloadable poster.

2017 Graduation Citation for our Maritime Drummer!

2017 Citation for the Allan R. Wayte Music and Liturgy Award:

Music is at the heart of transformation. It has the capacity to soothe the troubled soul, to stimulate the imagination, to rekindle long held memories while opening the mind’s eye to new insights.

Music possesses the DNA, or character structure, with the Gospels. For music, like the Gospel comes to life when it is shared. Alone it is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal, but in unison, in the company of other instruments it becomes a symphony. Therein resides its power and its majesty.

This year’s recipient of the Allan R. Wayte Music and Liturgy Award, embodies the very essence of what it is to share music and in so doing imparting the Gospel.

David Atwood has consistently offered his love of drumming with us throughout his time at AST. Not only has he introduced deep and rich rhythms to the community, and in so doing transported us to places deep in our unconscious—as only the drum can do —he has done so with creativity, good humor and integrity.

Whether we like it or not, percussion is always edgy. It has the ability to actually change our physiological experience of the moment. It can speed up and slow down the heart rate. And so to engage the drum is to invite a conversation with the risky. The Gospel too is dangerous . . . it too, can change our physiological experience of the moment. It too makes demands. It can take us to places that we had not imagined. And while both are risky, both are relationally oriented.

As a student placed at Cole Harbour Woodside Pastoral Charge, David introduced hand drumming to the people of the charge as a part of an educational project. Not only did the project prove to be a wonderful community building project, it expanded the sense of the possible and offered new avenues of liturgical dexterity to the people of Cole Harbour Woodside.

In sharing music, be courageous. In offering the drum, do so without apology. And in being people of the Gospel, know that you engaged in a very dangerous enterprise. David Atwood is acutely aware of these realities. And for the time he was with us, in our community at AST, we were better for it. The 2017 recipient of the Allan R. Wayte Music and Liturgy Award: David Atwood. 

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Our retreat was unbelievably wonderful, filled with laughter, sharing, learning, savouring, and being.  Check out our photos!

Festival Registration News

The closing date for registration at the Second International Biblical Drum Festivaldraws quickly towards us.

We welcome all who are interested in Biblical Drumming, its history and how we are recapturing the Biblical drum today.

A Beginner/Refresher level is available.  Intermediate and Advanced levels are also open.

Come join us for a time of celebration, learning, being with our drum sisters and making new drum friends.

There is no walk-in registration. So book your spot now!

Hope to see you there!

Festival Registration Up

We are pleased to announce the registration process for the 2nd International Biblical Drum Festival is now finalized and available to you! So check our pages under Festival and join in!

Registration is limited and on a first come first serve basis: a total of 60 including 12 beginners. 

Wonderful, gifted and exciting leaders are now ready. And the Ottawa Biblical Drummers are eager to welcome you to Bells Corners United Church and to drum -lots- with you!

Miranda Rondeau is coming from California. Barb and Amy are driving up from Michigan. Let's learn, share, drum and care for the ancient tradition now resting and waiting in our hands!!! 


Introducing Miranda Rondeau!

The Second International Biblical Drum Festival has invited Miranda Rondeau as the Festival's special guest.  Miranda is coming from Los Angeles, California to share her internationally acclaimed drumming skills and her unique style of prayer-singing.

Check out our Festival pages devoted to her!


Lavender Fields Forever!

The Peterborough drummers share a wonderful drum story with us! 

Thank-you, Sylvia!

There is a place near Campbellcroft called Laveanna, which is all Lavender Fields.  Once a year the owners put on a Health and Wellness Weekend. The Mark Street Drummers were invited to participate this year.  Five of us were available to go.   We drummed Omalu  while entering, walking and leaving the labyrinth, which you can see it designed with lavender plants. When we reached the center, (we had already placed our frames there)  we drummed Rattlesnakes one and three several times. Before entering the labyrinth we drummed our meditation, and after finishing, we drummed our meditation again.
There were quite a few visitors as well, and they followed us into the labyrinth, walking to the beat of the drums. One lady wanted to walked it the second time, so we continued to drum Omalu while she was walking and meditating.  All in all even though it was 90 degrees and we were out in the hot sun, we all truly enjoyed the experience.

Mark Street United Church drummers by Lavender Labyrinth

Mark Street United Church drummers by Lavender Labyrinth