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Percussion Ensemble with Bregy School
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Percussion Ensemble with Bregy School

Description: After-school percussion and poetry ensemble; 2013–2019

“We all work together as a team and we never give up.”

—Khalil, 7th grade

In our weekly after-school percussion ensemble at F. Amedee Bregy School (and at Christopher Columbus Charter School from 2013-2016), students learned drumming and so much more: teamwork, creative thinking, self-confidence, cultural awareness.

Students made their own bucket drums and rain sticks out of everyday materials. They learned about Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean drumming traditions. They also worked collaboratively to compose rhythm poems and group compositions. Additional sessions with a spoken word poet boosted creative writing skills and connect language with rhythm.

The ensemble had opportunities to perform at a Bridge Session each spring, and at our Big Hurrah fundraising event in the fall.

Lead teaching artist Josh Robinson said, “Drumming can be used as a tool to teach an array of life skills. It provides a positive and creative outlet for young people to express themselves and release their emotions in a safe space.”


F. Amedee Bregy School in South Philadelphia is a K-8 school in the School District of Philadelphia. Their vision is to foster academic excellence for a diverse community of learners in which students are intrinsically motivated to become knowledge seekers, problem solvers, and culturally accepting individuals. As a school community, they create a nurturing and safe learning environment where all students feel accepted and valued.

Project Team

Josh Robinson, percussionist
Jacob Winterstein, spoken word poet

Watch Jacob and Josh perform with other teaching artists at the 2015 Big Hurrah:


Project-specific support has been provided by The Horner Foundation and PNC Charitable Trusts.

We’re also grateful for the numerous foundations, corporations, and individuals who support our programs.