Bombala was composed in February, 2019 for the students participating in the ROCmusic Collaborative, which is modeled after the El Sistema orchestra education program, and which is the host organization for the ROCdrummers, an after school hand drumming program that provides an opportunity for grade school children in the City of Rochester, New York.
The ROC Drummers perform drum music derived from contemporary original and African-based sources. All of students in the ROCdrummers also receive instruction on string instruments through the Collaborative. The ROCdrummers program began in September 2015 and is open at to all City of Rochester students – public, private, and home schooled. No prior musical experience is required.
The composer of Bombala, William L. (Bill) Cahn, is a facilitator for the ROCdrummers, and a member of the Honorary Board of Directors of the Rocheter Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), serving on the orchestra’s Education Committee. The RPO is a one of the co-sponsors of the Collaborative, along with the City of Rochester, the Rochester City School District, the Eastman Community Music School, and The Hoichstein School of Music & Dance.
Bombala is an original work that was created to feature the performance of the children in the ROCdrummers – some of whom are literally just starting on their musical education – alongside of the professional musicians of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestras, among the finest in the world. The ROCdrummers perform playing on single-headed drums called tubanos using their hands to make different strokes generating various sounds. The music is composed in a series of sections, in each of which the ROCdrummers are tasked to play a basic rhythmic pattern in repetition throughout the section as the orchestra plays its contrasting melodies and harmonies.
35 page score, arranged for Hands-On Drumming Ensemble and Orchestra (31 parts)