POWELL, Wyo. - An African master drummer will perform in this year’s Choral Sampler at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 15, in the Nelson Performing Arts Center Auditorium at Northwest College.
Artist-in-Residence Sowah Mensah, an ethnomusicologist, composer and master drummer from Ghana, West Africa, will perform with the NWC Choir on one of his original compositions, introducing Africa’s participatory musical styling to the Wyoming audience. While he’s on campus in October, Mensah will also conduct several workshops for students in the music department. His residency was funded by a grant from the NWC Foundation.
NWC Choir Director Jan Kliewer said another program highlight is the performance of Daniel Bukvich’s “Mixolydian Gloria.” Bukvich was on campus in early October to work with the choir and NWC Band on two of his compositions. A well-known composer, he is professor of percussion and theory and director of jazz choir at the University of Idaho in Moscow.
Also on the choir’s songlist is “Laudate Dominum,” a movement from one of Mozart’s larger works which Kliewer describes as “a perfect composition; balanced and beautiful.” Previewing the Vespers concert in December, they’ll perform Will Todd’s “Ave Verum Corpus” and Randall Thompson’s “Alleluiah,” a musical exploration considered to be one of the 20th century’s masterpieces.
Mid-concert, the Northwest College Studio Singers, under the direction of Craig Olson, take the spotlight and stir things up a bit. This group of 10 jazz singers and their swingin’ rhythm section lighten the mood with “Cruisin’ Down the Center Lane” by Ken Kraintz and a Kirby Shaw arrangement of “I’m Comin’ Home, Baby.”
Admission to the concert is free.