Don’t miss a beat with the HANDS Percussion Academy

We had the pleasure of attending a concert last weekend from the HANDS Percussion Academy called RhapsoD. It was performed at the beautiful Pentas 1 hall in the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) in Sentul Park.

Hands Percussion is a renowned percussion ensemble in KL. Founded by Mr Bernard Goh, the ensemble has been captivating audiences with its performances, while mixing traditional and contemporary drumming techniques.

The RhapsoD concert showcased a range of professional drummers, part-timers and trainees, and was all about drumming, percussions, dance, and storytelling.

Six stories


First up: a group of very talented kids from the Little Yellow Flower Foundation and the Hands Percussion Academy as young as 6 years old. With fabulous drumming and dance moves, they got the audience in a great mood. The little drummer boys – and girls definitely set the right tone for much more to come.

The next five sets of performances were of an incredible level, one even more entertaining than the other. Where one set was all in yellow, with yellow drums, and yellow costumes, the next one was in black and white and a third was fiery red. A true feast not only for the eyes, but also for the ears. A pity we had fixed seats since I felt the urge to get up and dance on the beat of the drums!

A special group from HANDS Percussion Academy: DeafBeat

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The DeafBeat performance was most impressive, as all the drummers are deaf. I was amazed to see how they managed to perform very complicated rhythms and move at the same time. Apparently, some deaf drummers can memorise drumming beats by feeling the vibration of the drum. Others remember the tempo by movement and visuals. More about them here.

The gamelan set where Beethoven’s classic ‘Fur Elise’ was reworked, was also very special. Hearing that well-known melody being played on gamelan instruments was a pleasant surprise to our ears. An electric guitar was involved as well to complement to the originally classical piece of music. Simply magnificent. Music exceeded boundaries of sound and movement and turned into a storytelling experience.

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Read our interview with KLPAC co-founder, Faridah Merican, on why you should support the arts!

We were invited by the HANDS Percussion Academy. As always, our opinions are honest and our own.

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