As usual, May is shaping up to be a busy month….we hosted a public open house on May 7th for National Youth Arts Week. It was a great success with 26 youth and 22 children taking part! It was so wonderful to see our youth express their artistic leadership in teaching the music and dance they know so well. They planned the whole session and led all the drumming dancing and singing. Three of them stayed on to help with the ROOTS Open House that followed, which was great, as we had a really large turnout for that…thanks Emily, Patty and Diana, we couldn’t have done it without you!
The following week was our final ROOTS class for the year. They opened with a challenging piece…the two interlocking parts for Tokwoe which they spoke and then played on stick drums. Those particular rhythms were also part of the arts class we did this spring session with Maureen Clarke…some cool hanging beads arranged with the patterns of the piece. They got to take those home at the end of the night. The other highlight was the choreography for Kpanlogo, a piece this group has only previously done the drumming and singing for. It was great to see them really into the dance.
We all appreciated the volunteer efforts of Meaghan Cullen, who stayed on to help with the end of the ROOTS sessions, even though her Practicum course through Carleton U Music has ended. She has developed some great drumming and teaching skills, and given so much of her time and energy. It won’t be the same without her and we hope she’ll be back next season in a new capacity!
A couple of interesting gigs are coming up at the end of the month for Baobab Youth…stay tuned….