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Tuesday, October 10 • 1:45pm - 2:30pm
Community Engagement through Drumming (45 mins)

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I was hired at Oakland University (OU) twenty years ago to teach an African drum course that started many years before my arrival in 1975. For more than forty years, OU has offered African drumming classes to a wide range of students. During this time, there have been yearly morning concerts presented for students from neighboring schools to enjoy. Our 425-seat concert hall had been regularly filled to capacity for these events, until Michigan went into a deep recession and public school funding for transportation was eliminated.

With attendance dwindling, I decided to try something new. This past fall, through the support of the OU/Pontiac Initiative, I took our annual program into the community. The OU African Ensemble, together with master Ghanaian drummer Paschal Younge, presented a weekend community workshop and concert at the Pontiac Creative Art Center (PCAC). This event was the culmination of Paschal’s weeklong residency at OU, and was a great opportunity to share the fruits of our collaboration with the wider community, who delighted in singing, clapping, drumming, and dancing.

In my short talk, I will reflect on the powerful sense of community at this event and the absolute joy that filled the PCAC. I will also present short reflections from my students, for whom sharing what they had learned with our wider community was a life-affirming experience. Finally, I will discuss our plans to repeat this successful event in the fall of 2017.

Speakers
avatar for Mark Stone

Mark Stone

Assoc. Prof. of Music, Oakland University
Mark Stone is Associate Professor of Music at Oakland University, where he coordinates the world music and percussion programs. He is also the Arts Area Leader for the OU/Pontiac Initiative and a member of the Pontiac Arts Commission. Through the OU/Pontiac Initiative, Mark recen... Read More →


Tuesday October 10, 2017 1:45pm - 2:30pm
Colorado B

Attendees (5)