Art in Difficult Places: Baylor School of Music Will Present Lecture and Recital on Indigenous Music of the Middle East

Oct. 27, 2011

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The Baylor University School of Music and Campus Diversity Committee will present "American Voices: Art in Difficult Places," a lecture and recital focusing on traditional Kurdish and Arabic music, at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, in Recital Hall II of Waco Hall on the Baylor University campus. The event is free and open to the public.

John Ferguson, executive director of the American Voices Foundation, will lecture on the power of cultural diplomacy. Founded by Ferguson in 1993, American Voices is a nongovernmental organization designed to provide programs in the performing arts and education in nations emerging from conflict or isolation.

Marc Thayer, director of education for American Voices, and Dr. Bradley Bolen, lecturer in piano at Baylor, also will lecture. Bolen, who joined the Baylor faculty in 2000, became a member of American Voices last year. During the summer of 2010, he taught students in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries.

The event also will feature demonstrations of Kurdish folk music, performed by violinist Rebin Ali and cellist Honar Ali.

American Voices began as an effort to offer American cultural programming to the newly open societies of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Since then, the foundation's scope has grown to include more than 110 countries, introducing American genres such as jazz, Broadway and hip hop to audiences in countries emerging from conflict or isolation. Recent projects include jazz in Angola and Nambibia, Broadway in Nepal and breakdancing in Syria, Palestine and Jordan.

The Baylor the Campus Diversity Committee reports to the Office of the President and is responsible for supporting and encouraging campus wide diversity by providing ideas and suggestions for programs that could benefit faculty, staff and students.

For more information about the event, contact the School of Music at (254) 710-3991.

by Katy McDowall, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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