Give The Drummers Some

If you’re a fan of music legend, James Brown, one of his catch phrases from many of his iconic songs is, “Give The Drummer Some”! When he says this, it’s time for the drummer’s solo. And so the story goes…Its time to Give the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps some Drummer Time!

I’m so excited because the FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps of Long Island is about to show the world how talented they are at a national competition. The group that’s made up of people with disabilities is so good that they couldn’t be denied a spot.

The Drum and Bugle Corps’ members attend a non-profit theater program each day. I wasn’t even aware that a theater day program existed. Talk about beating the monotonous of the everyday. I wish there were more out of the box programs like this one.  It would make it better if they opened it up to all people, not just for persons with disabilities.

As a person with a disability, I must admit, sometimes I feel I must prove myself to have a seat at the table. I felt like this a lot when I was younger, not so much now, because I’m older and feel more confident in my abilities. When I first started emceeing Ohio’s Developmental Disabilities Awareness and Advocacy Day in Columbus at the Statehouse, I heard that there was a little push back due to my speech impairment but as fate would have it, I got the job. I have been rocking many mics ever since. All people with disabilities need opportunities and reasonable accommodations. Give us that, and we’ll take it from there.

The FREE Players Drum & Bugle Corps group will be competing with every other drum group. This is an all inclusion competition. Some drum members will even get the opportunity to compete individually in solo competitions.

If you ask me, this is the way the world is supposed to be. Not everything in life needs to be deemed “special” in-order for a person with a disability to partake. I keep telling people, “I’m just like you”! I have wants and needs same as you. If there’s something I really want or need to do, best believe I’m going to make things happen just like this drum group.

The drum group will be competing in the world championships.  They will be the first to make history next year in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I hope they win it all, but if not, they’re already winners.  They are great at their craft of drumming and putting it out there for people to recognize.

6 comments on “Give The Drummers Some

  1. Mike Koesters on

    Shari: Every now and then I get a question from a customer when they find out that our janitors have disabilities; “How should I treat them”? My answer is always the same; “Just like anybody else”

  2. Diana Mairose on

    Shari, I miss you.Are you going to the OACB conference? I hope so. When I read your blog the Christmas song the Drummer Boy was in my head. Sometimes I feel like I give too much but in theory people with disabilities feel like they have to play the drums more often to be heard. May we find ways this holiday season so that we all are made a star in the light of inclusion.

  3. Shari Cooper on

    Hey Diana,
    I won’t be at the OACB conference this time maybe they’ll have me attend or present next time around. I miss you too. We’ll have to hook up soon. Glad you liked this post. I really love your comment. Keep shining!


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