Elizabeth Vidos (also known as Lady Chops) is pictured here as she interacts with children Tuesday night to begin the Evangeline Parish Library’s Summer Reading program. Over the course of the program at the main branch in Ville Platte, Vidos exposed the children and their parents to different percussion instruments. (Gazette photo by Tony Marks)
Reading to the beat of a different drum
The Evangeline Parish Library kicked off its Summer Reading program with a performance from the Morgan City native Elizabeth Vidos (also known as Lady Chops), who has performed for 10 years in New York City with the group STOMP.
Vidos, in front of a packed house inside the activity room of the main branch in Ville Platte, demonstrated to the children how to play different types of percussion instruments like cajons, slap rattles, and flexitones.
She also told the parents about benefits of their children learning how to play musical instruments. “Parents, there are way more music scholarships available than athletic scholarships,” said Vidos. “I love sports, too, but put an instrument in your kids’ hands and double down to see where it takes them.”
Vidos’ own percussion journey began at the age of 10. “I would ask my mom if I could have drum lessons,” she told the audience. “My mom said yes but on one condition that I had to do the lessons on the front porch outside because it was a little loud. So, that summer, I was sweating on a hot Louisiana porch learning how to play the drums.”
Her formal drum training began while a member of the band in fifth grade when she learned how to play rudiments. Vidos explained, “Rudiments are the language of drumming. There are over 40 rudiments in the drumming world, and they all have very cool names. One of the bigger ones is called a paradiddle. There’s also a flam and a flam paradiddle, that’s also known as a flamadiddle.”
Vidos demonstrated several rudiments with her drum sticks.
She then continued to tell the audience about how her percussion journey continued in middle school where she “learned how to do a drum roll.” Vidos added, “There are lots of different types of drum rolls like the double stroke roll and the triple stroke roll.”
Again, Vidos demonstrated different drum rolls before showing the children how to do back sticks that she learned in high school.
Vidos continued, “When I got into college, the band director walked up to me and said that they wanted to offer me a four year music scholarship if I was willing to play the drums for them. All of a sudden, music was paying off as in paying for school.”
The Summer Reading program continues each week at branches across the parish. The lineup of performances is as follows: “Chatty the Mime” June 5th through 7th, magician David LeBoeuf June 12th through 14th, Managers’ Programs June 19th through 21st, Theatre Acadie with Sarah Roy June 26th through 28th, Managers’ Programs July 10th through 12th, and Managers’ Programs featuring our own Thelma Fontenot with “Fun with Spanish” July 17th through 19th (except at Ville Platte where it will be authors David and Anna Rainey on July 17th).