Drum is a replica of the one used by Aunt Julia Hydes
An exact replica of the drum used
by Aunt Julia Hydes will now be a part of the Cayman Islands Folk Singers’
Orchestra, thanks to Canadian ethnomusicologist and York University faculty
member Paul Ormandy, who crafted the drum.
Mr. Ormandy’s interest in
contemporary, popular and global music has led him on a journey of performance
and education throughout North America, the Caribbean, Europe and Japan. He
spent several sessions over the past few years listening to and interviewing
Aunt Julias Hydes and believes she is unique among the musicians he has
Mr. Ormandy’s experience includes
his expertise regarding Broadway shows, symphonies and orchestras, the
Afro-Cuban music steel band, flamenco, world drumming festivals and corporate
He has also served as a full-time
orchestra member in the Toronto production of the Disney musical The Lion King
and Mel Brooks’ musical, The Producers.
The Cayman National Cultural
Foundation’s artistic director, Henry Muttoo, petitioned Mr. Ormandy for the
drum as a gift after seeing a replica he made of the drum for local drummer
“It’s terrific that someone with
the experience and skill of Mr. Ormandy has taken a keen interest in our folk
music and in particular, the work of Aunt Julia, who is one of our living
treasures,” said Mr. Rivers.
The addition of the drum will give
the orchestra more authenticity and provide a young drummer the opportunity of
a lifetime – to learn the style of Aunt Julia and add their interpretation to
“This is an exciting time for the
development of music in the Cayman Islands. We hope it will serve to inspire
and excite our young artists to create from a position closer to their centre,”
said Mr. Ormandy, who also included a traditional grater with his gift.
The re-energized Cayman Islands
Folk Singers will make a guest appearance at the Arts and Culture Awards at the
Harquail Theatre on 22 October. A full concert is planned for November.