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Free summer concert series features medley of artists

by Tonya Durlach

June 16, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Seminar 2011, Western Michigan University's summer music camp for high school students, is again hosting a free summer concert series featuring accomplished soloists and ensembles with ties to the program.

"A Musical Smorgasbord" features the Gold Company Sextet and Dunuya Drum and Dance.

Concert schedule

Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m. in WMU's Dalton Center Recital Hall.

Photo of WMU's Gold Company.
Gold Company veterans July 11
Monday, July 11--The opening concert will feature the Gold Company Sextet performing a repertoire ranging from traditional vocal jazz such as Singers Unlimited, to contemporary a cappella music such as Rockapella and Take 6. The group also will perform its own original music. The Gold Company Sextet includes Loren Battley, Jill Newton, Cecille Elliott, Erik Jacobson, Andy Van Allsburg and Sean Carney--all performing veterans of the acclaimed WMU Gold Company program. GC6 will be assisted by saxophonist Ben Schmidt-Swartz, Laura Dubin on piano, Seminar 2011 faculty member Jeff Utter on bass and drummer Derek Swink.

Photo of West African drummer.
African drumming July 14
Thursday, July 14--The closing concert will feature "A Percussion Fiesta" with Dunuya Drum and Dance. Seminar 2011 faculty member Carolyn Koebel will come together with Tommy Machowicz and Calvin "Shangojinmi" Ruff to present a collage of drumming traditions from different cultural persuasions. Machowicz brings his expertise of West African djembe and dunun traditions; Koebel contributes a broad-ranging palette steeped in Arabic traditions; and Ruff shares his Kongo and Yoruban ancestry through sacred songs and rhythms of the congas. Experience sacred rhythms of Bembe, recreational dance music from Guinea, Garifuna songs and rhythms of Central America, the Arabic percussion ensemble, Brazilian samba and more. The pieces will be enhanced with traditional choreography by cousins Heather and Kama Mitchell.

"A Musical Smorgasbord" is presented under the auspices of Seminar 2011, WMU's 60th annual summer music camp for high school students, with support from the WMU School of Music and the University Cultural Events Committee.

For more information, contact Matt Jensen at or (269) 387-4678.

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