Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Ole Miss Acquires Unique Drums from Ghana. (Noteworthy News)

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Ole Miss Acquires Unique Drums from Ghana. (Noteworthy News)

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY, MISS.

Music lessons at the University of Mississippi are about to become even more dynamic, thanks to a recently acquired, hand-carved drum set from West Africa.

Intricately decorated and culturally rich, the 15 drums are native to the Ewe of southeastern Ghana. For centuries, Ewe drums have provided vibrant rhythms for indigenous dances and music, said UM assistant professor of music George Worlasi Kwasi Dor.

The drums debuted on campus April 14 in a public World Percussion Ensemble concert featuring Dor as master drummer of the Gahu drum ensemble.

Carved from tweneboa, a Ghanaian cedar tree, the drums have fragile skins and tuning pegs. Acquisition of the set "resonates with UM's commitment to the diversification of its programs," says Dor, who is Ghanaian.

"African drumming can become a vital component of our rich performance programs, and students majoring in composition and music theory can draw on rhythmic resources imbibed from drum lessons to enrich their creative vocabulary," he says. "The drums will also add to the cultural lives of African students studying at Ole Miss. …

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