Monday, February 7, 2011

What I did this J-Term :)

Hello All,

I have been dying to do a post but senior year academics has had me under its leash! (Of course, I have to include a social aspect to the senior life or I would have no sanity) However, I must say my final year at Dear Old Mac has been good so far...and J-Term was no different.

I am an international student from JAMAICA!!! So the holiday started at home with trips to beaches, spending time with family, hanging with friends, devouring amazing food, frequent link-ups with other Jamaican Mac students while home to go to parties, chill, just to name a few...let's just say, bliss! :)

I came back to Minnesota on January 8 for a 2 week commitment leading up to the start of the spring semester. I am in the African Music Ensemble here at Mac. We are a group of about 40 students under the leadership and guidance of ethnomusicologist, professor and drum master, Sowah Mensah. We sing mostly Ghanaian music and play the drums and African flute, as well as do Ghanaian dance.

Every January, we invite schools from all around the Twin Cities area (although one school came from Duluth this year) to come to January concerts that we put on. Each show is concise and kid friendly but also very informative. In the program, we play a lot of the music we have learned but also, play Ghanaian games with the students and invite them to dance. The group performed 2 shows per day from January 11-21 in the Alexander Hill Ballroom in Kagin Commons to hundreds of school children, ranging from the elementary to the high school level.

It is always an amazing time as the Macalester students (like me) enjoy sharing this music that we spend a lot time learning and the kids always have a grand time listening and dancing. (They also ask the funniest questions of Sowah during the Q&A section).

Now that the semester is in the full swing, our next commitment is our Black History Month Concert this Saturday. I expect it to be sold out as all our concerts tend to be, so I guess it's good that our new performance space in Kagin has no limit on the amount of persons who can come, unlike the old concert hall in the music building (now under construction).

We will also be going on our annual Spring Break tour soon. This year we are touring the Northeast states. It's going to be a blast!

I really have enjoyed my almost 4 year tenure in the African Music Ensemble. It's fun and I have learned a lot of stuff, while also sharing with the community- which is a very 'Macalester-y' trait! :P