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World Music Ensembles

gamelan ensemble

While world music can be found woven through the repertoire of various courses at the School of Music, the following ensembles focus specifically on performing and understanding world music traditions. 

World Music Ensemble

Director: Scott Currie 
Non-auditioned ensemble. Every semester, this class explores Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean popular repertories and rhythms: samba, bossa nova, salsa, merengue, mambo, and more. Planned master classes and clinics with local artists complement regularly scheduled rehearsals and performances, including a spring finale in the May Day Parade. Register for MUS 5460-001

World Music Ensemble meeting time: W 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

West African Music Ensemble

Director: Sowah Mensah 
Non-auditioned ensemble. Hands-on experience in learning to play West African music, one of the great non-western musical traditions that is readily accessible to beginners. Also, insights into function, context, structure, gender roles, politics, instruments, life-cycle rites, genres, musical organizations, traditional musicians, and contemporary popular music. This course is led by Master Drummer Sowah Mensah from Ghana, West Africa, and is open to all students - no musical background needed! Members will have the opportunity to play drums, xylophone, and sing. Register for MUS 5494. (Offered in the fall semester only.)

West African Music Ensemble meeting time: T 3:35 PM – 5:05 PM

Javanese Gamelan Music Ensemble

Spring '21 semester course.

Director: Joko Sutrisno 
Non-auditioned ensemble. Hands-on experience in learning to play Javanese gamelan music offered every spring, one of the great non-western music-making traditions that is readily accessible to beginners. Join internationally renowned Joko Sutrisno as he related insights into the role of this tradition in Indonesian culture. Open to all students, no musical background needed, and no audition required. Register for MUS 5490-002 "Percussion Ensemble".
Meeting schedules to be announced. 

Steel Pan Ensemble 

This class will not be offered in Fall 2020.

Hands-on experience in learning to play in a steel pan percussion ensemble. No audition or experience is required. 

Learn more about world music opportunities at the University of Minnesota.