A Drum Appeal for Peace

1 decade 7 months 20 hours ago February 23, 2006 Feb 23, 2006 Thursday, February 23 2006 Thursday, February 23, 2006 5:07:55 PM CST in News

In a time of man-made and natural disasters, it can be difficult to find harmony. But when one Columbia group feels powerless, it turns to the power of the drum.

"These seem to be dreadful times we're going through these days," explained Morgan Matsiga. "I truly believe in the power of the drum. At least in the society I grew up in, and many other cultures around the world for that matter, the sound of the drum has that soothing, healing quality to it." 

Matsiga leads this group called Universal Drum Appeal. They're percussionists who've developed a reassuring beat in the uncertain rhythm of life.

"I think it brings people through a rough period in their time," said Universal Drum Appeal's Clint Thompson. "They still have their trials and the things they have to go through, but at least it's something they can kind of relate to and enjoy."

Thompson and Ishtah Logan are from Moberly. Ishtah's dark glasses can't hide the twinkle in his eye.

"Peace and love throughout the world," Logan said. "That's what we're all about. Coming straight from the heart. Just let everything come through the music, just want everything to be positive, you know."

But it's not been all positive for this group. In Matsiga's birthplace in South Africa, an estimated one in nine people are HIV positive. Two of his sisters died from the disease.

"You keep getting the sense that this is not your own," he said. "It's definitely a gift from above." 

He wears a cross engraved with five words. It hangs silently from his neck. But to him, it's his most important instrument.

"The inscripton there, it says, 'Christ is counting on you,'" Matsiga explained. "So, just merely vehicles or conduits. We're just channeling the sound that's coming from above. And we're going to do it, try to make as many connections as we can with God's people out there."

You can get Universal Drum Appeal's new CD at Mid-Missouri Peaceworks on West Broadway in Columbia. The suggested donation is $10.

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