Multicultural World Music Percussion Program Launches for Mapso Youth

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From the Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture

Maplewood Division of Arts & Culture introduces a new 8-week Multicultural World Music Percussion Program beginning September 12, 2020. Melodic Percussionist, Professor Lyndon Achee will lead and inspire middle and high school students in developing their skills in culturally diverse percussive instruments such as Steel Drums, Vibraphone, Drum Set Congas Ghanaian, and hand drums, among other instruments.

The pandemic, resulting in all virtual classes this fall, leaves kids with little to no creative outlet. In response, Community Services is adding in-person, safe, socially distanced programming to support the growth and expand the minds of today’s youth who have been sheltering in place. Ana De Archuleta, Director of Arts & Culture believes, “the full-bodied and cathartic experience of playing these melodic percussive instruments is an ideal way for our young residents to explore a new cultural experience.”

In order to create enriching and creative experiences for young citizens, The Community Services Department is sponsoring the program, keeping the price to $250 for the 8 sessions, and making scholarships available for families who need them. Classes will be limited to 10 students per session. The program will take place in The Woodland’s spacious and spectacular Great Hall. Melissa Mancuso, Director, Community Services sees the program as a welcome relief for kids who want to make music and express themselves. Mancuso says, “We want to provide a safe environment both physically and mentally where kids can develop confidence and play music together, while social distancing.” 

Professor and experienced percussionist Lyndon Achee will cover history and information on the instruments, music theory and performance techniques. Achee will guide the students on grip, touch, control, how to be sensitive to the instruments, and how to hit the sweet spots to get the best sounds. These melodic percussion instruments do not require any previous training; It is possible for a group with any level of musical experience to accomplish a simple melody within a short period of time. 

Come and enjoy Lyndon Achee’s Steel Pan live performances in the Maplewood Village Sunset Music Series on Friday, September 4th at 7pm, and in Music Mondays at the Maplewood Farmers Market on August 23rd and September 6th at 4:30pm.

The 8-week Multicultural World Music Percussion Program will meet on Saturdays culminating in a live outdoor performance on Sunday, November 1st, where students will showcase their talent and newly acquired skills. In the event of rain, the performance will live-stream on social media.


Location – Great Hall at the Woodland, 60 Woodland Road, Maplewood NJ

DATES: Saturday, September 12 through October 31st, 2020

With an outdoor performance on November 1, 2020 

(In case of rain, the performance will live stream from The Woodland)

8 total sessions on Saturdays (flexible age groups)

Session 1: 10:00 – 11:15 am – 10 to 14 years old
Session 2: 11:45 – 1:00pm – 14 to 17 years old

Cost to students = $250 for 8 sessions (10 Students)

Registration: Click on the “Youth” button at

Registration and Scholarship Questions: Call 973-763-4202

COVID-19 Considerations: All participants and teachers will be required to wear masks and maintain 6 feet of distance. There will be no sharing of instruments, and all equipment will be disinfected before and after use. Participants will be screened at the start of each session.

Lyndon Achee, Melodic Percussionist was born and raised in Trinidad and moved to New York City in 1988.

An active performer in New York, Achee has recorded and performed with Nile Rodgers’ R.T.G. Productions, Anthony Braxton, Eric Leeds’ Paisely Park release, David Pleasant, Jay Hoggard, Arnie Lawrence, Winston Grennan, and at the Lincoln Center Summer Concert Series, with the Village Drums of Freedom. Achee recently composed and performed a score for Derek Walcott’s play “On the Blue Nile” at the Juilliard School.

Lyndon Achee is currently Musical Director of Village Drums of Freedom, Calendula, a New York-based World Music and Jazz Band. Achee has also worked as a musical therapist and instructor at the Good Samaritan AIDS Program, the Inner-City Music Project (sponsored by Time-Warner), the Arts Connection Youth Music Program, and the Marie Brooks Dance and Music School.

Lyndon Achee holds a BFA from the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program of the New School for Social Research and Mannes College. Awards include the Bill Cosby Scholarship Award, Vera List Scholarship, Bruner Abron Award and Pantrinbago Youth Achievement Award.

The mission of the Division of Arts & Culture, under the Community Services Department, is to foster a creative community of artists and organizations, enhancing the quality of life for residents of Maplewood by ensuring that artistic and cultural experiences are inclusive and accessible to all.

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