Drumming for Peace: Young musician on a mission to unite community


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A young musician is on a mission to take back his community, one beat at a time. 

Music is a universal language. Whether it’s in a church, at a concert, or just on the street, it can bring people together.  That’s why one local drummer is sharing his gift and hoping it can unite his neighborhood.

He’s got a melody in his head and a beat in his heart.  Elijah Saunders shares his musical talents every Sunday in local churches.

“They really do a double take when he comes in,” said Pastor Raymond Briggs, of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Norfolk.

That’s because Elijah is 10.  He’s been playing the drums since he was 2 years old, taking drum lessons since he was 6 years old, and he practices every day.

“Anything that I can beat on, I will beat.  Trust me,” Elijah said.  “There’s no such thing as playing it too much.  I wake everyone up in the neighborhood actually.”

He’s now on a mission to unite his neighborhood.

“I’m doing drummers for peace,” said Elijah. “Music brings people together.”

Elijah wants his neighbors to become a family, so the violence will stop. That’s why he’s hosting a community music event on Saturday.

“They need to come together, eat together and laugh together,” Elijah said.  “Every night, I look on the TV and it’s like a shooting everywhere.”

His insight and his age are already inspiring people, but Elijah is just getting started. 

“For a 10-year-old to think about the community and think about the family structure is amazing,” said Pastor Briggs.

Elijah said, “I just want people to come together as a nation and just know each other.  Music just brings people together.”

So he will keep playing for anyone who needs to hear.

Drummers for Peace is taking place Saturday, October 27 from noon until 3 p.m. at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church located at 122 E. Berkley Avenue in Norfolk. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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