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Published on January 23, 2013

Second Annual Transformation Through Rhythm Concert to Benefit Music Therapy in DeKalb County and South Africa

January 23, 2013 

DeKalb County Hospice and DeKalb High School are again partnering to hold a second annual benefit concert, Transformation Through Rhythm, on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in DeKalb High School’s auditorium. The concert will include DeKalb High School Percussion Ensemble, Northern Illinois University World Music ensembles and Harambee African Percussion Ensemble. DeKalb County Hospice hopes to raise awareness of both the local and global need for music therapy, bringing diverse groups of people from our community together through music, while giving young adults an opportunity to be of service by sharing their talents. Admission to the concert is free and donations are appreciated.

Proceeds from this special performance will help support DeKalb County Hospice’s music therapy program, which is largely funded through donations and grants, and will help support a therapeutic drumming program at Knysna-Sedgefield Hospice in Knysna, South Africa (DeKalb County Hospice’s sister hospice). Knysna-Sedgefield Hospice’s Transformation Through Rhythm is a program for children ages 13 to 17 whose parents were in hospice care, many of whom are now orphans from AIDS. They offer therapeutic drumming circles to help these kids deal with their losses and the harshness around them, as many live in extremely impoverished conditions.

In March 2012, the inaugural Transformation Through Rhythm concert was well attended by the community and raised $2,200 which was split between the hospices. Ann Werhane, whose husband has Alzheimer’s disease, attended the concert that night and called DeKalb County Hospice the next morning stating that she was most impacted by a PowerPoint slide from the South African hospice showing the “Care for the Caregiver” drumming group. Werhane stated, “I’ve been part of traditional support groups before, but I just know this would offer me something completely unique, and would be so helpful.” As a result from this call, DeKalb County Hospice borrowed drums to enable them to offer an eight-week “care for the caregiver” therapeutic drumming group called “Healing Beats.”

Research is burgeoning on the positive effects of group drumming and AARP reports drumming circles are among the country’s fastest-growing holistic or wellness health trends. Organizers hope to raise enough funds for the purchase of drums and percussion equipment to enable DeKalb County Hospice to offer ongoing drum circles for family and professional caregivers, and to give children and adult bereavement groups opportunities to use drums.

For more information about Transformation Through Rhythm, call DeKalb County Hospice at 815.756.3000.

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