Every city has its own unique rhythm and more often than not, real music coursing through its neighborhoods serves as a soundtrack that both binds and inspires the community.
Wilmington is no different, and music has long been an integral part of the city’s identity – from outdoor music festivals to concerts at the Queen to pop-up performances at the Chelsea Plaza.
The civic minded leaders at the Rotary Club of Wilmington know this well, and thanks to their generosity a new installation will provide families visiting Fletcher Brown Park the ability to generate music all on their own. The Rotary donation features six large outdoor percussion instruments that were permanently installed yesterday at the park.
The gleaming, large-scale steel instruments, including a conga drums, chimes and handpipes, are dotted throughout the circular park and secured into a brick courtyard surrounded by new park benches.
The small park is located on the Brandywine Creek at the intersection of South Park Drive and North King Street.
The pieces were made in Great Britain by a company called Percussion Play specifically for the Fletcher Brown Park installation. Jason Goodnight’s company The Brick Doctor completed the brick work and helped with the installation of all of the instruments.
“This new installation is designed to promote both community and creativity at the park for the young and the young at heart,” said Lisa Detwiler, President of the Rotary Club of Wilmington. ”We hope these new instruments will be used to create and strengthen bonds of friendship in this community.”
Prior installations in this park have included several education stations that were designed in consultation with area school partners at the Community Education Building and at the Friere Charter School. The most challenging need the schools described was the need to have high-quality musical instruments available for children to explore.
The total cost of the installation — from design to site work, to the brickwork, to the benches that were custom made for the curved wall around the site — totaled $48,000. Rotary Club of Wilmington president David Fleming says the project was paid for through a Rotary International Global Grant, a local District Grant, and some private contributions from Rotarians.
Fleming was proud to unveil the musical courtyard after months of work. “A project of this scale is always is the result of the collaboration of many dedicated partners,” he said. “Music has the power to bring people together. And we’re happy that people of all generations will come here to relax and enjoy themselves.”