Rhythmic Reverie: Celebrating the Final 2023 Session of Byron Seniors’ Drumming Group

Final 2023 Elder Beats session: Vibrant seniors embrace drumming, community, and the universal language of rhythm.

September 12, 2023
Amanda Kuhn
Rhythmic Reverie: Celebrating the Final 2023 Session of Byron Seniors’ Drumming Group

As we say goodbye to 2023, the final gathering of the Elder Beats program took place this month. It was a joyous occasion filled with rhythm, camaraderie, and the vibrant energy of our senior participants. Gareth Jones, the founder of Sound Synergy, captured it perfectly, describing the attendees as "some of the most energetic and vibrant seniors on the planet”. This sentiment truly embodies the spirit of the Byron Seniors Elder Beats program.

Founded in 2013 as a Healthy Ageing initiative at the Byron Community Centre, Elder Beats has grown into one of Australia's most thriving seniors’ programs. Beginning with the core idea of Sound Synergy Drumming, it has evolved into a welcoming community that eagerly welcomes newcomers each week.

At the heart of the Elder Beats program is its inclusivity. It invites seniors of all backgrounds and skill levels to explore African drumming in a supportive and enjoyable environment. Beyond the physical health benefits, drumming also stimulates the mind and uplifts the energy levels of all participants.

Guided by Gareth Jones, who spent a decade in South Africa honing his passion for drumming and learning from Zulu elders, performers, and musicians, these sessions are a testament to his dedication. Gareth's journey also took him to Ghana, where he studied with master drummers, further enriching his knowledge and skills. For the past two decades, he has shared his expertise and love for drumming through his professional teaching and performances.

The final session of the year, held on November 27, 2023, was a memorable event. The rhythm reverberated through the Byron Community Centre as participants drummed, danced, and celebrated the sense of community they had built over the year.

Afterward, all members convened at Ginn Jinn on Marvell Street to commemorate a successful year and the start of the holiday season. The Elder Beats group now eagerly anticipates the program's return in 2024, where another year of drumming, dancing, and fostering joyful friendships awaits them.

As we bid adieu to the final Elder Beats session of 2023, it reminds us of the power of music to bring people together, regardless of age. The seniors who attend these sessions continue to inspire with their vitality and zest for life, forging bonds through the universal language of rhythm. Here's to many more years of Elder Beats in Byron Bay, where the joy of drumming knows no age limits. We eagerly await the adventures that 2024 holds for this remarkable group of drummers!

The Byron Senior’s Elder Beats program provides seniors with a fun and enriching activity and serves as a platform for social interaction and connection.