DIEMA concert poster

OU Students, Faculty Travel to Ghana for Concert

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A group of Ohio University students and professors will perform in Ghana in June for an international concert that will bring some 200 performers on stage.

A collaboration with the National Dance Company of Ghana and Ghana’s National Symphony Orchestra, the inaugural DIEMA concert and symposia will be held at the National Theatre of Ghana, in the city of Accra, June 18-20.

A group of about 12 students and alumni will take part in the event, which was organized by Paschal Yao Younge, professor of Music, and Zelma Badu-Younge, associate professor of Dance. Younge composed the music for the concert and his wife, Badu-Younge, was in charge of choreography.

“We realized that the only way we can expose our students is to create opportunities for them to perform on stage—as we do ourselves,” Younge said.

One of aims of the concert, Younge said, is to give students the opportunity to learn from other artists — and to learn how to be a professional. The group of guest artists also will represent Canada, China, and Taiwan.

“In addition to presenting a world-class concert and symposia, our ultimate goal is to build on the ongoing international connections and relations between Ohio University, the United States and Ghana,” Younge said.

The theme of the event is “Ghana Meets the World,” and Younge said it would mark the first collaboration of its kind between The National Dance Company of Ghana and the National Symphony Orchestra Ghana. The concert will be open to the public and serve as “a celebration of contemporary Ghanaian music and dance.” The symposia will focus on enhancing arts education in Ghana— “to try to create the next generation of cultural ambassadors,” Younge said.

Younge also organized the World Music and Dance Concert on campus. Artistic Director for the National Dance Company of Ghana Nii-Tete Yartey, who also helped organize the DIEMA concert, was a guest artist at the annual event in 2014. Younge said he hoped the concert in Ghana would be a good student recruitment tool not just for the arts but other areas.

“It will be good to not just bring in the guests here but also go out and perform,” he said.

Younge is the director of the Annual International Summer Program in African Interdisciplinary Arts and co-artistic director of OU’s African Ensemble. He also directs Azaguno, a multi-ethnic ensemble focusing on African, African-American, Caribbean and Latin American music and dance.