Visiting percussionists on fire

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 29/03/2014
Percussionist Tom Scrase
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
BIG BEAT: Percussionist Tom Scrase, part of the drumming group Strike, performs for at St Thomas Aquinas School in Winton.

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Please don't try this at home. That was the plea of percussionist Tom Scrase, after a roomful of children watched him create music from the sound of flames.

Scrase and fellow musicians Takumi Motokawa and James Fuller, part of the percussion group Strike, wowed a crowd of almost 200 pupils with their fire song, Cook Island drumming and rhythm tricks in Winton yesterday.

The trio performed for the audience from Heddon Bush, Drummond, Isla Bank, Willowbank and St Thomas Aquinas schools, mixing comedy with music and forcing teachers to perform spontaneous drum solos.

To create the fire music, the performers used flaming batons, squirting them with "supercalifragilistic juice" to make the flames temporarily roar.

St Thomas Aquinas School principal Julian Ineson said the show allowed rural schools to experience a quality performing group.

Rural Southland schools sometimes missed out on opportunities because of their location, he said.

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