World Beat

Drums of the World is an all-percussion performance incorporating a wide range of strikeable instruments, from the snare drum to bizarre African instruments, tom-toms, tin cans and the tambourine. "In a typical year, we have 150 to 200 percussion instruments on stage," says William Hill, principal timpanist with the Colorado Symphony.

Performed primarily by Hill, John Kinzie, Steve Hearn and Terry Smith -- all members of the Colorado Symphony -- this year's production has six distinct parts, beginning with a traditional Japanese piece called "Chonlima" and ending with Hill's booming, eerie "Stonehenge: Rites of the Solstice.”

"It's a piece about Stonehenge, but it's not the Spinal Tap version," notes Hill. Also included are three short ragtime pieces, an experimental piece called "The Third Construction" (complete with tin cans), a tambourine piece called "Intentions,” and a mix of xylophone, bells and several drums named "Threads.”

"This really gives us the chance to explore the wide world of percussion that we love so much," says Hill.

Now in its twelfth year, Drums of the World opens today at 2:30 p.m. at Boettcher Hall, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Tickets are $13 for children and $25 for adults. For more information, call 303-623-7876 or go to
Sun., Nov. 28, 2:30 p.m., 2010

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Mark Dragotta