Campus was filled with the exotic sound of foreign music this past Sunday as both students and members of the Richmond community descended upon Westhampton Green for the Global Sounds concert.
The concert began as a way to showcase musical ensembles that don’t fit into the traditional Western cannon, with many of the groups playing music from countries such as Brazil, India and Ghana.
The event was initially organized in 2009 by Richmond professor Andrew McGraw. Since then, the concert has grown to include eight different styles of music, including Brazilian capoeira, Brazilian bossa/samba, Javanese and Balinese ensembles, a North Indian ensemble, a Ghanaian drumming ensemble, a Malian drumming ensemble and Japanese taiko.
Many of the ensembles are made up of students who are in music classes on campus. For them, this was a chance to show both their friends and the Richmond community what they have learned throughout the semester.
McGraw explained that these classes are a great way for students to fulfill their visual and performing arts general education requirement while having fun and learning about a new culture.
“All students can study any of these musics for credit – there are no prerequisites,” McGraw said. “Because these are community-based musics, there is a place for both beginners and advanced students.”
Jackson Krase, RC '19, a student in McGraw's Global Repertoires class, gained a new understanding of culture from this experience. Krase learned how to play music from three different countries: Japan, Indonesia and Ghana.
“I took part in five different performances with three different music types,” Krase said. “I really enjoyed the performances. The audience reacted very positively, we had beautiful weather and it was a great chance for the community to come out and see types of music that would otherwise not be advertised.”
One of the attendees of the concert, Matt Fitzpatrick, RC ’17, took one of McGraw's classes during a previous semester and came out to the concert to see how this year’s students were faring.
“I participated in the class last year and knew a couple of the people performing this year,” Fitzpatrick said. “Events like this help bring some culture and diversity to campus.”
After the performance, Krase reflected on how both the class and concert had allowed him and the Richmond community to gain a greater understanding of culture.
“I definitely gained a deeper appreciation for the connection between a culture and its music style,” Krase said. “Through music you can really see different aspects of a culture being represented.”
Contact contributor Zach Halaschak at email@example.com.