Drumming for The Boston Marathon

April 20, 2020


9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

1384 Commonwealth Avenue

Newton, MA 02465


Hosted by DrumConnection of Boston, MA


To Bring: Folding chair, drum, water, plastic bag or 2 for you (rain) or you're drum (rain). A snack. Food venders are next to us but not cheap.


No need to RSVP but always a good idea to keep in touch so RSVP! 



Alan Tauber


617-686-6080 ph/msg/txt


Details are below...


This is the 20th year we've been drumming at the start of Heartbreak Hill. Originally organized by your Meetup leader (me), later, John Tracy a teacher, spiritual guide and sherpa for DrumConnection. There are usually about 60 - 75 or more drummers.


Runners say it's the highlight of their marathon trip. Some even like us so much they stop a moment to try the drums. For real. Hold your drum for them to play and they will.


Onlookers smile, police and military wave, TV cameras pass by, children dance, sometimes we make it into the nightly news!


Really special! Don't miss it!


Please RSVP (if you want) so we know how to set up space.


No drums? We will have a few extra, and people will share.






What you need so you can get there without stress or parking problems, and be there right at the correct area for drumming, with an easy route OUT for when you leave:




This is always an important time for us to show community support for Boston's neighborhoods, each other (the drummers), and the runners from so many countries. If you have been here before you KNOW how much it really matters to have us playing drums for them!


We have spent much time with security officials, the BAA and local police about how to manage things this year as usual. Security remains high and we need to minimize stress to security people so to remain welcome to drum for future years.


• DRUM BAGS - while we HAVE relaxed the 'drum bag and backpack restriction' a few years ago, BE AWARE that if you look suspicious, you may be asked to open your bags. At the site, flatten any bags on the ground to minimize any threats that may stress authorities and public. If it looks like it might rain bring a plastic trash bag in your pocket for rain cover if needed. Always a good idea.


• CAREFULLY review maps of the area. This year, Chestnut St. will be blocked at 7:30 AM. At the Rte 9 side, at Beacon, about 1/4 mile from the intersection. On the other side of Commonwealth Ave. Chestnut St. will be blocked about one block from Commonwealth. Police say you can park up to 60 ft. of Commonwealth Ave (rt 30). Our advice is to get on the local streets off Beacon and navigate to a side road close to our spot. On the other side, there are local roads off Chestnut at the point it is closed, or shortly before.


• We RESPECT the community. This means we play for a while, then take breaks, where everyone is quiet. Nonstop loud drumming (drums are loud) can be annoying and stressful. TAKING BREAKS makes it better, and we remain welcome for future years and make it easier for officials and neighbors.




We set aside a private area near the corner of Chestnut St. and Commonwealth Ave. (rte 30) in Newton. 1384 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA 02465


One good approach is to enter local roads near Chestnut St. at Beacon St.




Get there early (8:45 AM) and avoid traffic and get through any road blocks to park. Well worth the effort. Yes. I know it's early!


The first group, wheelchairs, arrive at our spot at about 10:15 AM


Actually, anytime is fine but if you beat traffic, life is better and you get a closer parking spot. I get there really early, find a nice close parking spot and relax, then set up our area.


MBTA: You can avoid parking, and take the GREEN LINE to the WABAN stop. This is the last one before the end at Riverside terminal. It is a walk of about 15 minutes (with your drum) to the drumming spot.


What to Bring:


• A drum:

No drum? This is a long event, and people are comfortable stopping awhile and letting others borrow their drums... Yeah - bring non-drumming friends... it's always a FUN celebration.


• A folding chair: 

The cheap metal ones are best and bring a cushion. The canvas chairs are too low and at the wrong angle for comfortable drumming.


• A drum strap allows you to stand and play.


• Water. Snacks: 

Are available at highish prices right next to us. Bring your own.


Maybe suntan lotion (I hope! .. This day often surprises. Can be cold and gray, can be very hot and sunny)




Yes, there are porta potties.


RAIN?? ... Drums don't like rain. If it rains steadily we will not be there.


But remember if there is a chance of rain, have a plastic trash bag in the pocket to protect your drum.


SUN?? ... Some years there is a LOT of sun. Good idea to bring a hat and sunscreen.




1) Best experience, so we sound good and are welcomed by the onlookers, we should mostly play simple rhythms so everyone can connect. We need to be CLEAR and simple. Fine to add an occasional solo if it is clear and fits with the rhythm.


2) Those who can lead know who they are - and are welcome to take that responsibility.


3) Essential to STOP for periods of quiet. No drumming. We have found it is important for the crowds. Non-stop drumming is an irritant, people complain, we risk losing the privilege. SO - when we stop - everyone stops. Yes - if a key runner or group comes by and waves, when we are quiet, we could do a quick roll, but then return to being quiet. This has always worked well for us.


ANY questions - ph/msg/txt me anytime Alan: 617-686-6080. I really hope to see you and HEAR YOU there!


In rhythm,


Comments: 1
  • #1

    Phone Number (Wednesday, 10 April 2019 19:28)

    Please remember to bring my cell number to text if you are lost or stolen!
    Alan Tauber 617-686-6080 Try NOT to call but text if you need to. If the police won't let you through, for example.