Series to Reflect Lowell's Multicultural Communities
By Julia Gavin
West African drumming, chamber-pop, classical Cambodian music and World Music will fill the air at Durgin Hall this semester as the popular "Music on the Merrimack" series returns for its third season. The 2011-12 focus, "Global Voices," will celebrate the multicultural traditions of UMass Lowell's students.
The free series, which is sponsored by the Music Department and the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, not only offers concerts and performances for the Greater Lowell community, but also unique opportunities for UMass Lowell students.
Before performing for the public, the visiting musicians will offer master classes and demonstrations for students. In the classes, students will perform while the master teacher listens, then critiques. Students will also have opportunities to ask the masters questions in small groups, allowing for better connections between masters and students.
Fall Semester Performances
All performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Durgin Concert Hall in Durgin Hall, 35 Wilder St., unless otherwise noted.
Sept. 15: West African drumming and dance with Joh Camara
Sidi Mohamed "Joh" Camara was born in Mali in West Africa and began his training in traditional dance and drumming at the age of five. Since coming to the U.S. in 1995, he has taught art in Boston area public schools as well as at universities across the country. Through his interactive performances, Camara creates cross-cultural experiences and expands arts and cultural education for his audiences.
Oct. 6: Birdsong at Morning
Led by UMass Lowell music Prof. Alan Williams on guitar and vocals, Birdsong at Morning has been serenading audiences with their unique blend of classical and world music for several years. Featuring core members Darleen Wilson (guitar, vocals) and Greg Porter (bass, vocals), as well as several supporting players on drums, world percussion and a string quartet, the ever-evolving group has recently received wide praise for their newest release, the four-volume album, "Annals of My Glass House."
Nov. 3: East Meets West: The Music of Chinary Ung, Fisher Recital Hall, Durgin Hall
UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College performance faculty will join forces in a colorful and inspiring program centered on Cambodian-American composer Chinary Ung. The composer is noted for his inventive use of Western instruments to convey and explore traditional Cambodian music. UMass Lowell Prof. and violinist Mark Berger and pianist Carmen Rodriguez-Peralta, chair of the Middlesex Community College Music Department, will be featured.
Dec. 2: Winter Holiday Celebration
A collaboration between the UMass Lowell University Choir, Chamber Singers and Choral Union, and the University's new World Music Ensemble will take listeners on an international tour of winter, ranging from works in Latin featuring Congolese drumming to pieces with Latin-American influences. Choir director Murray Kidd will conduct, accompanied by soloists Samuel Martinborough and Christian Figueroa, as well as choreographer Betsi Graves and the debut of Dr. Thomas Malone, director of the new UMass Lowell World Music Ensemble and Choral Union.