Ifield Community College Drummers have been together since May 2009. Arising from a chance classroom discovery, the group has been playing songs and rhythms in the Chagossian/Mauritian tradition to the delight and amazement of audiences since that time.
All the members are from the Chagossian communiity which has been settling in Crawley since 2004 and they largely develop, arrange and rehearse their own repertoire. They also sing in and play for the choir and have now become integral to the character and sound of the choir as a whole.
The particular character,style and method of their music-making has created great interest both in the UK and abroad.
Their first major concert was for the National Association of Music Educators at the Royal College of Music in July 2009, and they have since played at Birmingham Town Hall in the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth, at the Royal Geographical Society, at BBC Maida Vale studios, at Chichester Cathedral and in the BBC Human Planet in the Park Prom.
The drummers have featured in The Times, in an article entitled "Crawley's Link to a Lost Culture", and were interviewed for BBC Radio 3's Music Matters programme in June 2011
Patrick Allen has been keeping an online blog about their discovery and development. They are at the centre of a number of fundamental cultural, anthropological and educational conundrums but most importantly they HAVE FUN!
Recording at BBC Maida Vale
"The addition of the young Chagossian drummers has given this talented group a unique sound"