[ ghana tour ]

Yale Percussion Group learns at University of Cape Coast, Ghana

IMG_6260-groupOn Thursday, May 29, the Yale Percussion Group returned to the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to learn more West African music and dance.

The six members of the YPG  met with John Kuubeterzie, the same faculty member that had led the performance on Tuesday, May 27, and three of his students. Despite the lack of electricity in the music building that day, the group had a very productive session.

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Published May 31, 2014
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[ ghana tour ]

Project continues to record Ghanaian drumming

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“Ekrodo” in Eduma

Over the past two days, the Yale Percussion Group and members of the Yale Concert Band have visited villages in coastal Ghana to watch and record performances of local music and dance traditions. The video and audio recordings will be used to make transcriptions for publication.

“Ekrodo,” in the village of Eduma, is traditionally a dance for farmers when they want to relax and have fun, especially at harvest time. “Osoode” drumming, in the village of Oguaakuma, was originally for young people for the purpose of having fun; it is rarely performed today. Both of these involve singing and clapping in addition to the drumming.
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Published May 29, 2014
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[ ghana tour ]

Yale Band and Yale Percussion Group play concert in Yamoransa, Ghana

IMG_0959-drummingThe village of Yamoransa, where the Yale Concert Band, Yale Percussion Group, and Yale Alumni Service Corps are working on community projects this week, welcomed the ensembles for an open-air concert last night. People packed the village square for the event, which for many was their first time seeing a concert band.

The May 28 event opened with music and dance performed by ensembles from Yamoransa. The Yale Concert Band then performed several selections. Local schoolchildren paraded with drawings they had made to accompany Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, which they had read in school. MORE

Published May 29, 2014
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[ students & alumni ]

Yale awards Honorary Doctor of Music degrees to Joseph Polisi, Ralph Stanley

Joseph Polisi

At Yale’s 313th Commencement Exercises on Monday, May 19, the University awarded honorary degrees to twelve “individuals who have achieved distinction in their fields.”

Among these awards were two Honorary Doctor of Music degrees, awarded to Joseph Polisi ’73MM ’75MMA ’80DMA, and Ralph Stanley. MORE

Published May 28, 2014
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[ ghana tour ]

Yale Percussion Group, Yale Concert Band enjoy musical exchange at University of Cape Coast

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Dancers from UCC welcome Yale

On Monday, May 26, the Yale ensembles currently in Ghana visited the University of Cape Coast (UCC). A drumming ensemble from UCC welcomed the group for an afternoon music exchange. Dancers then joined the ensemble for an exciting performance.

The Yale Percussion Group, made up of the School of Music’s six graduate students in percussion, played Steve Reich’s Drumming. (Reich himself  had been inspired by a trip to Ghana.) Drumming combines patterns influenced by West African music with Reich’s concept of phasing, in which performers deliberately move out of sync with one another.

John Kuubeterzie, professor from UCC, taught some Ghanaian rhythms to members of the YPG, and other members of the Yale group learned basic dance steps. MORE

Published May 27, 2014
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[ ghana tour ]

Yale Band & Percussion Group bring music to Yamoransa schools

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Thomas C. Duffy describes what a conductor does

The Yale Concert Band and Yale Percussion Group arrived yesterday at Cape Coast. This morning they visited the village of Yamoransa, with which Yale has an ongoing partnership.

Three groups of Yale musicians went into classrooms, where they introduced themselves and their instruments to Yamoransa students. Each band member explained the parts of the instrument and demonstrated how it works, and the students learned about woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments. The band members then played the Yale fight song, with the Yamoransa students clapping along. MORE

Published May 26, 2014
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[ ghana tour ]

A glimpse at the National Museum of Ghana

IMG_4607-sculptureFor the Yale Concert Band and Yale Percussion Group, Saturday, May 24 was a day to explore Accra. Many people chose to visit the National Museum of Ghana, whose three main galleries deal with Ghana’s past, its traditions, and with the country’s arts culture.

The museum includes exhibits on prehistoric Africa; sculptures and paintings; and examples of traditional attire, musical instruments, and sacred tribal artifacts.

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Published May 25, 2014
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[ events ]

Accra applauds Ghana-Yale Nkonsonkonson “Unity” Concert

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NSO Ghana, Yale Concert Band, Yale Percussion Group

Tonight, the Yale Club of Ghana and the Association of Yale Alumni presented a Nkonsonkonson “Unity” Concert at the National Theatre in Accra. The concert, which was a benefit for the Ghana-Yale Partnership for Global Health, brought together the National Symphony Orchestra of Ghana, the Yale Concert Band, and the Yale Percussion Group.

After the Yale Concert Band (YCB) opened with Rossini’s William Tell Overture, the event featured welcome remarks from Dr. Elijah Paintsil, a member of the Yale School of Medicine faculty and a co-founder of the Ghana-Yale Partnership for Global Health; Nachilala Nkombo, Deputy Director of the ONE Campaign, Africa; a representative from IBM, a partner in the medical initiative; and a representative from the Office of the President of Ghana. MORE

Published May 23, 2014
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[ faculty ]

Paul Berry among Provost’s 2013–14 Teaching Prize winners

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Paul Berry, Assistant Professor of Music History at the School of Music, was honored recently as one of the winners of the 2013–14 Yale Provost’s Teaching Awards. The awards celebrate teaching excellence at Yale.

The cornerstone of the Provost’s Teaching Initiative is the development and recognition of outstanding teaching by untenured faculty university-wide. With the generous support of an anonymous donor, the Provost’s Teaching Prize acknowledges the teaching excellence of 10 members of the untenured faculty each year. Deans and department chairs can nominate untenured faculty members who demonstrate a particularly high level of teaching excellence. These nominations, together with information from student evaluations, were used to determine the 2013–2014 Provost’s Teaching Prize recipients.

The citation for Berry’s award noted:
As Assistant Professor of Music History, Paul displays an exuberant passion for the subject of music. He has a gift for integrating the diverse cultures and backgrounds of School of Music students and engaging them as learning partners in making sense of music and its role in society—past, present, and future. Because Berry is both a scholar and a practicing musician, his class presentations reflect new ideas about historical works and a clear understanding of music in our own time.

Published May 23, 2014
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[ ghana trip ]

National Symphony Orchestra of Ghana and Yale ensembles perform benefit concert Friday, May 23

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National Theatre, Accra

Tonight the Yale Concert Band and Yale Percussion Group will join with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ghana (NSO) to perform a Nkonsonkonson “Unity” Concert at the National Theatre in Accra.

The event is a benefit for the Ghana-Yale Partnership for Global Health, which aims to eliminate mother-to-child  transmission of HIV.  MORE

Published May 23, 2014
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