July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

University of Akron Steel Drum Band plays in Medina

The beat rolls on for Medina residents as the University of Akron Steel Drum Band comes to town to showcase its percussive talents.

“The University of Akron Steel Drum Band is acclaimed nationally,” said Medina Historic Business Partners volunteer Thomas Sigel. “They’re one of the first field drum ensembles in the state, and it’s a high-energy event. It’s sort of calypso, Caribbean in feel, high-energy music, a lively event.

“And it’s like bringing topnotch musicians to Medina. It’s fantastic. We just want to try and bring people into the community and the square on a Saturday night.”

Walking to the beat of its own drum is how The Medina Historic Business Partners were recently feeling regarding what was originally scheduled as an International Festival to benefit the Uptown Medina Initiative. The group’s goal is to qualify for the Heritage Ohio Main Street Program, which is designed to assist Ohio communities to economically and physically revitalize their downtowns or neighborhood commercial districts.

“I’m just trying to be a part of the community,” said Sigel, who owns and runs his own business out of his Medina home. “For me, it’s very important to have community involvement and make sure the historic downtown district remains vibrant.”

While Sigel said the outfit wanted to schedule an all-day festival showcasing the area’s diversity through music and food, the group ran into various hurdles. So instead, a special evening featuring the nationally renowned University of Akron Steel Drum Band is planned for 8 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Broadway Auditorium in the County Administration Building, 144 N. Broadway, Medina.

“We wanted to try to achieve this main street status from the state and part of the application process to obtain that status is that we have to demonstrate we’re capable of doing a fundraising event,” Sigel said. “So what we decided to do is to have the University of Akron Steel Drum Band as a benefit concert. All proceeds from that will benefit the Uptown Initiative.”

Sigel is hoping to pack the Broadway Auditorium with upwards of 500 people. Not only will this help out his organization but he feels bringing this type of entertainment to the area is a win-win for Medina.

“It’s an interesting, different musical experience,” Sigel said. “It’s not your everyday type of musical event. So it’s a learning experience, a new experience and it should be a fun experience in an evening filled with high energy so when people leave the Broadway Auditorium, they should be pumped with energy and say, ‘Wow, what a fantastic night out on the town right here in our local Medina.’

“You didn’t have to go to Cleveland, Akron or any big city to take in a topnotch musical event. It was right here on our doorsteps.”

Tickets at the door will be $20. For more information, call 330-722-2541.

Benson may be reached at ididhear@aol.com.