Creating harmony

BEYOND initiative promotes diversity with one-note instruments

Irma Collin’s photo of the week captures the last warmth we may have for awhile near FLITE.
Irma Collin’s photo of the week captures the last warmth we may have for awhile near FLITE. Irma Collins, Photographer
Ferris students gathered in the North Quad to learn and play an Indonesian instrument for the BEYOND initiative.

Tuesday, September 9th marked the beginning of the BEYOND Initiative at Ferris, where many students played the angklung in harmony, despite having no previous music experience.

“The BEYOND Initiative is an exciting series that is in its third year,” International Development Intern Katie Davidson said. “The first year was BEYOND: The Silk Road, last year was BEYOND: Mythologies, and this year, the Office of International Education is partnering with the Diversity and Inclusion Office and the Office of Multicultural Student Services for the theme of BEYOND: Diversity.”

The angklung is a musical instrument originating from the 13th century made of two bamboo tubes.

“What’s unique about the angklung is that it only holds one note,” Program Coordinator and Director of the Indonesian Embassy Tricia Sumarijanto said. “So, you need a group of people to play the instrument to make music.”

BEYOND: Diversity doesn’t go from school to school to introduce a new kind of music to students. They travel for another reason.

“This is to support diversity on campus,” Sumarijanto said. “It’s a chance for students to experience a new culture not by watching, but by doing it. With music and through diversity, we can bring peace and harmony.”

Many students showed up to watch as demonstrated how to play the angklung.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Health Care Administration senior Ellen Pritchard said. “The coordination was very interesting. I wasn’t expecting each instrument to make a different sound.”

Each instrument had a number at the base. Tricia would hold up a specific hand signal that let each student know when to play their instrument.

“It was really cool,” Nursing junior Rebecca Tinsley said. “Learning how to play was exciting. I didn’t expect it to be that simple.”

Although the crowd at Ferris was a big one, it wasn’t nearly the biggest crowd Tricia’s had.

“In 2011, the Embassy of Indonesia held an event at Washington D.C.,” Tricia said. “We broke the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest angklung orchestra. We had 5,000 people from different nations.”

According to Davidson, the BEYOND Initiative will be hosting events linked to the theme of diversity that will span across the year.

Students can expect the next BEYOND event to come early October. Students will learn about diverse cultures, perspectives, and how they can co abroad to learn about the new cultures firsthand.  instrument and the House of Angklung by visiting their website at