Portsmouth schoolchildren smash record for largest Djembe Drum Ensemble

Children from schools across Portsmouth descended on Guildhall Square on 15 June 2017 to smash a Guinness World Records® record for the largest Djembe Drum Ensemble.

900 Infant, Junior and Secondary school pupils took part in the challenge as part of BBC Music Day, beating the previous record of 476 drummers.

The children spent weeks training for the record attempt which was organised by Portsmouth Music Hub with music written by one of the hub’s composition team.

The young drummers were joined by Taiko drummers and a Samba band with a special finale performance by the Corps of Drums from the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.

An enormous cheer rang out across Guildhall Square as Guinness World Records® Adjudicator, Paulina Sapinska, announced that the record had been broken and that the drummers were ‘officially amazing’.

The record-breaking drummers outside Portsmouth Guildhall
The record-breaking drummers outside Portsmouth Guildhall

Sue Beckett, Chief Executive of Portsmouth Music Hub, said:

‘The children drummed brilliantly and it was a fantastic event that enabled everyone to celebrate the power of music as part of BBC Music Day. To smash the record was a huge triumph for everyone and the children were so excited that all their hard work had paid off.’

Sofia Doan, aged 11, from St. John’s RC Cathedral Primary School, said:

‘Drumming today was the most amazing day of my life – I will never forget it as it was incredible.’


Header photo: Sue Beckett (left), CEO, Portsmouth Music Hub, with Maaria Cheema and Salid Ali from Cottage Grove Primary School and Paulina Sapinska, Guinness World Records® Adjudicator 

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