Native American Day
Friday, November 12th was Native American Day at Ward-Stewart Elementary School. The day concluded with an assembly in Henderson Gym in which 5th grade students from Mrs. Melby's music class performed traditional American Indian songs and dances: round dance, friendship dance raccoon dance, and bear dance. Dr. Damm and Mrs. Melby worked together to prepare the students for the performance. Mrs. Codling, visual arts instructor for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, was also involved in teaching about American Indian culture trhough mask making. Students enrolled in MU 3123: Creative Arts in the Elementary Classroom took part in the native American Day celebration by displaying masks which they made and by performing songs and dances with the elementary school children.
Saturday, November 13th was Music Mania Day for Girl Schouts of Northeast Mississippi. Dr. Damm and Dr. Rose Sebba of the Department of Music worked with the Ladies of SAI to help 65 local Girl Scouts learn about music through hands-on experience with composing and performing. Dr. Damm's session focused on American Indian songs and dances.
Latin American Music at West Point Central
Students in West Point's Central School studied about Jamaica, Peru, and Brazil. Dr. Damm and Senior Music Education Major Alysa Murphy visted the school on December 2nd to discuss the music of these countries. The workshop featured singing and hands-on experience with many percussion instruments as the students learned about calypso and samba styles.
Blues in the Schools with Mississippi Blues Legend Jesse Robinson at East Webster Elementary, Mathiston. Blues guitarist Jesse Robinson and harmonica virtuoso Richard Johnson joined percussionist Dr. Robert Damm in presenting Mississippi's own gift to the music world, the blues.
Indian Student Association
Indian Student Association’s annual DARPAN Cultural Festival (9-12-04). The evening’s program included a unique musical fusion of popular Indian music featuring the Bombay Boyz (Shridhar, tabla; Jagdeesh, drums; and Sachin, keyboards) combined with West African and Caribbean percussion (jembe, udu, and congas) played by Robert Damm, and jazz-rock guitar by Edwin Daniel. The success of this collaboration has led to plans for cultural outreach programs to be offered in local elementary schools.
Summer Reading Program
The "Step to the Beat Summer Reading Program" weaved African story telling and drumming for library reading programs in Starkville, Madison, and Ridgeland, Mississippi. Students learned the importance of story-telling to every culture, and also had hand-on experiences with native African percussion instruments.
Blues in the Schools with Mississippi Blues Legend Jesse at RobinsonWard-Stewart Elementary, Starkville. Blues guitarist Jesse Robinson and harmonica virtuoso Richard Johnson joined percussionist Dr. Robert Damm in presenting Mississippi's own gift to the music world, the blues.
Eupora High School Band
Eupora High School Band’s spring concert featured a show stopping closer in which the entire band was converted into a percussion ensemble. The collaboration between Dr. Damm and the Eupora band was inspired by James Barnes’ “Carnival in Sao Paulo: A short encore for symphonic band, op. 102.” Multicultural selections for band by established composers are now widely available and are excellent vehicles with which to teach the relationship of music and culture (MENC National Standard in the Arts #9). “Carnival in Sao Paulo” provides high school band students the opportunity to learn about the music and culture of Brazil. For more information, see The Instrumentalist, (September, 2004).