Boomwhackers: Millikin Unique Sound

People love all different kinds of music. We’ve heard everything from metal to rap to country, and everything in between. Imagine a place where you could be exposed to all the different genres of music and much more through a group of tubes. Look no further than the Boomwhackers Club, otherwise known as TUBEZ, bringing all of that and more to Millikin’s campus. 

A boomwhacker is a percussion instrument. It is a lightweight, hollowed out, colored, plastic tube, tuned to a musical pitch by length. This allows each tube to play its own note when it is whacked on something. 

So when you’re able to get a large group together that all knows a song, each person can pick up three to four Boomwhackers and play their own part in different octaves and create an incredible harmony — from slapping Boomwhackers. The group known as TUBEZ on Millikin’s campus decided to band together and find a different, more unconventional way to create music through the use of Boomwhackers.

“We use Boomwhackers, which are obviously an unconventional instrument and we also use a melodica which sounds like a kazoo and a piano, as well as a bunch of other instruments to create melodies and rhythms that people are familiar with,” Aven Mrosko, the head of the group, said. 

Not only does this club have a diverse group of people and majors but it also has a few leadership positions available. Jarrett Newsome is the lead music director of TUBEZ. Even though Jarrett is a freshman on campus, he still is able to take advantage of his history of being connected to music with his mom having been an elementary school music teacher. As the lead music director for the group, he’s in charge of scanning tons of popular music and trying to figure out what will not only be fun and entertaining for the group, but also making sure it is not too complicated with the equipment available. 

Newsome also wanted to make it known that while Boomwhackers are the main instruments that are used, they are not the only ones. TUBEZ will also use maracas, tambourines, and other instruments to help keep rhythm and feel the beat of the music. Eliz Hulick spoke about her background with music as well as why she joined the group. 

“I joined the TUBEZ because it was run by some of my favorite people on campus and I watched my best friends having a great time in it the semester before,” Hulick said. “I also did auxiliary percussion all through junior high and high school and wanted an outlet to continue that love. I ended up leaving the group simply because I was way too over committed and it was something I knew I wasn’t too deep into to leave.”

When it comes down to it, TUBEZ is about truly performing as a group of diverse musicians without the stress of a formal ensemble.