A performance of the Ewe people’s war-epic “Agbekor” will be one of the highlights of the West Virginia University African Music and Dance Ensemble’s annual concert Friday (March 11) at 7:30 p.m. in the Eiesland Hall Auditorium on the downtown campus.

The event will feature the WVU African Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Michael Vercelli, director of the WVU World Music Center, and graduate student Ryan Frost.

According to Vercelli, this concert will also feature pieces from the Malinke, Dagara and Ga traditions of Africa.

The WVU African Music and Dance Ensemble is an experiential ensemble, focusing its repertoire on the traditional and contemporary music of Africa and the Diaspora. The ensemble is comprised of both undergraduates and graduate students from many disciplines across the WVU campus. The music is taught primarily through oral tradition allowing the members to experience the learning process without written music.

Vercelli said that while the focus of the African Music and Dance Ensemble is musical, the cultural contexts relevant to the music studied are inherently stressed, giving the participants a deeper understanding of its meaning and personal enjoyment of the music performed.

“The goals of the African Music and Dance Ensemble include fostering a growing community interested in the African Arts, while focusing on an expanding body of musical repertoire to encouraging the oral tradition process to take place between new and returning members,” he said. “Members are encouraged to use personal experiences from past years and abroad in shaping our performance practice.”

All tickets for the concert are $5 and will be available at the door on the evening of the concert. For more information, contact the College of Creative Arts at (304) 293-4532.


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4841 ext. 3108, Charlene.Lattea@mail.wvu.edu

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