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Sam played a drum with the assistance of (l-r) Andrew Malecek, Khailene Halverson and Rachel Larson. The students are in Cheryl Dougherty's class. Photo by Laura Kruse

Ugandan man spreads the drum beat of hope

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A circle of 13 handmade cowhide drums greeted fourth-graders as they filed into music class on Thursday morning.

After a brief introduction, visitor Okello Sam told the students to play the drums however they wanted.

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Arms waved, hands flashed and wild smiles quickly followed. The musicality was questionable.

By the end of the 45-minute class, the students had gained technique, a steady rhythm and an overlapping melody.

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