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Global Sounds Concert to be held on Westhampton Green

Published: April 19, 2014, 12:44 pm ET
concert
Catherine Sinclair /The Collegian
Junior Ben Panko plays a Japanese Taiko drum during the Global Sounds Concert in an interactive setting on the Westhampton Green
Collegian Reporter

This spring, the biannual Global Sounds Concert will be held around the fountain on the Westhampton Green with the hope of breaking traditional formal concert boundaries, said Andrew McGraw, director for the concert.

The Global Sounds Concert will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 19 and is a part of the Department of Music’s free music series. The concert is designed to celebrate music and dance from around the world and features both student and community groups.

Though the Global Sounds Concert is always held outdoors in the spring, it is typically held in the Greek Theatre, which serves the same purposes as an indoor concert hall, McGraw said. On the Westhampton Green, the different performing groups will be set up with the performers’ backs to the fountain in a circular shape. This way, the audience members must move around the circle as the groups perform, creating a more interactive element to the concert.

The new arrangement will also allow the concert to progress more smoothly, said Roderick Davis, the instructor for an African drumming course at University of Richmond. By having all of the groups situated around the fountain, there will be no breaks required for setting up or tearing down equipment, he said.

Davis is also the musical director for the Drummers of Ezibu Muntu group, which will be performing at the concert. Though this community group has previously performed at the Global Sounds Concert, this is the first year that Davis has taught his African drumming course, he said.

In his 21 years of teaching, Davis said his students this semester had been the fastest group to learn the rhythms of African drumming. The class meets once a week, and the group has had one previous performance to date.

During this semester, Davis has been bringing his own drums to campus for the music class. The dean’s office for the School of Arts and Sciences has been considering the request for the university to purchase its own set of African drums, McGraw said. Whether the purchase is made will depend on the enrollment in the course. The course will still be offered to students regardless of the decision, and Davis will continue to bring his personal drums, McGraw said.

Additional student groups that will be performing include members of McGraw’s global repertoires class, which focuses on the performance of traditional instruments from Asia and Africa. Students from the university’s Brazilian bossa nova and samba ensembles and Gamelan Raga Kusuma will also perform.

Along with the performances, the Global Sounds Concert will feature an “instrument petting zoo” in which attendees are able to touch and explore the various international instruments used during the concert.

Contact reporter Rebecca Wilson at rebecca.wilson@richmond.edu

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