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Dr. Michael Barrett


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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Sing and Dance the South African Way

Dr. Michael Barrett

By Libby Croce '19

Renowned South African choral director and composer Dr. Michael Barrett will teach three free, public workshops during his two-day residency on Wednesday, January 30, and Thursday, January 31.

Two sessions of "Where Africa Meets the West: Learn about South African Music and Dance" will be held on both Wednesday and Thursday, January 30 and 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. Barrett will teach simple South African songs, along with movement and drumming. He will also lead "Keeping Tradition Alive: Honoring Indigenous South African Music" on Thursday, January 31, from 12 to 1 p.m. All three events will be held in Jay Rehearsal Hall in the Center for Fine Arts on the Knox College campus.

Barrett is director of choral activities at the University of Pretoria, conductor of the Tuks Camerata and a lecturer in choral conducting. He holds a doctoral degree in choral performance from the University of Pretoria and is an internationally published composer and arranger.

Laura Lane, professor of music and director of choral activities at Knox, was blown away after hearing Barrett lead the University of Pretoria Choir.

“To say these songs are beautiful and full of intensity just doesn’t do them justice," Lane said. "There is a particular quality to South African music that is unlike anything else. These songs grab you from deep inside and make you want to get up and dance!”

Barrett’s residency is co-sponsored by the Knox College Department of Music, Office of Spiritual Life, Knox College Choir, Knox College Dance Studies, Cultural Events Committee, Nova Singers, the Grieg-Post Fund, the Student Co-Curricular Fund, and the Lucile Sudbury Charitable Trust.

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Printed on Wednesday, July 15, 2020