African Percussion Ensemble Featuring Gideon F. Alorwoyie
Alorwoyie is from Anlo-Afiadenyigba in the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa and is highly regarded as one of Ghana”s foremost virtuosos of traditional music and dance. He is associate professor of music, principal dancer/choreographer and Director of the UNT African Percussion Ensemble. Alorwoyie joined the College of Music faculty in 1996.
He was discovered by Phillip Gbeho, then head of the Institute of Art and Culture in Ghana at Hogbetsotso and annual Anlo-traditional cultural festival. Gbeho was so impressed with young Gideon that he offered him a position at the Institute of Art and Culture in 1964. From 1967-84, Alorwoyie worked in the Department of African Studies at the University of Ghana as chief master drummer of the Ghana National Dance Ensemble. Here he acquired the ability to perform music from different cultures. He toured France, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Switzerland, the former USSR, Yugoslavia, the Caribbean, Seoul Korea, Hong Kong, China and the United States as a member of the Ghana National Dance Ensemble. Alorwoyie is the founder and the Artistic Director of the Afrikania Cultural Troupe of Ghana, West Africa, member of the Ethnomusicology Association, and member of the Council of Elders, Dance Africa Chicago.
Torgbui Gideon Foli Alorwoyie is a wonderful musician, a superb dancer and has command of a vast repertoire. He is a virtuoso instrumentalist who has expanded the range of traditional African drumming and possesses extraordinary control of tonal inflection over a wide dynamic range. When he performs, one senses his total command of the medium.
Gideon, the dancers and Tripp Bratton, the instructor of the African/Latin Drum Ensemble at Berea College entertained a crowd at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Lexington, KY Sunday afternoon. The performance ended with a standing ovation as the Dancers of Ghana chose spectators to participate on stage as part of their show.
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