|Dr. Mukuna Rocks Boulder Creek High School|
(PHOENIX) – The Arts Council of the North Valley brings Dr. Kazadi wa Mukuna to Boulder Creek High School for a day of African vocal music.
On March 22, 2011 Dr. Kazadi wa Mukuna, renowned ethnomusicologist and Director of the African Ensemble at the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University in Kent Ohio was invited to Phoenix by the Musical Instrument Museum to review and assist with the Brazilian and African Musical Instrument Exhibit.
During his visit to Phoenix, Dr. Mukuna, an African and Brazilian specialist was approached by the Arts Council of the North Valley requesting that he work with the Boulder Creek High School Choirs under the direction of Kirk Douglas, Choir Director. Kazadi worked with the Honors Choir, Mixed Chorus and the Concert Choir teaching African songs and introducing complicated rhythms and melodies.
“I enjoyed working with the students at Boulder Creek High School. They were very receptive and responsive to my African music presentations. One interesting observation that occurred to me was that the students were much quicker to grasp new sounds (new language) when instruction was oral as compared to the pace of learning from the printed word. While time did not permit their grasping of the complicated African rhythms, their response showed that given more time they would have been able to comprehend and perform the music.” said Dr Mukuna.
The students were enthusiastic and as word spread that Dr. Mukuna was performing, students from other classes requested to attend. The percussion section of the Boulder Creek band attended and performed and a great learning environment was created.
“Thank you to the Arts Council of the North Valley for its success in arranging for Kazadi to come in and work with Boulder Creek High School students. The kids had fun learning the music and the culture. Here it is one week later and the kids are still talking about his presentation. I even had teachers from other classes tell me how excited the kids were when they went to their next class after singing with Kazadi," said Kirk Douglas, Choir Director.
The Arts Council of the North Valley’s mission is to provide leadership in support of artistic excellence, understanding and education of the arts, and to nurture the cultural life and vitality of our community. The ACNV is a donation funded, volunteer-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit that would not exist without the generosity of their donors and public support they receive through matching grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.