World music experience featured in Monday Concert Series
March 5, 2018   //   By:   //   Arts & Culture, Arts and Culture

“Using percussion instruments to tell stories is our favorite thing to do,” said Josh Ryan in an email interview. “Our group also seeks to break down the cultural, political and artistic barriers between people.”

This passion for music can be experienced at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 19, at the Elizabethtown College Leffler Chapel and Performance Center when the College’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts Monday Concert Series presents the Africa→West Percussion Trio.

A group made of three performers, Jamie Ryan, Ryan Korb and Josh Ryan, Africa→West Percussion Trio introduces students to the magic of African and Afro-Cuban music. To them, the goal is for students to enjoy and learn about a music style with which they might not be familiar.

It’s really important if we are going to have a vibrant liberal arts community that the arts are present, because the arts are one way of encountering the world.”

“[We] hope everyone enjoys the music on a purely aesthetic level,” Josh Ryan said. “However, we [are] also very eager to share the complexities and intricacies of Afro-Centric music and show how they can be combined and, indeed, found in music that is all around us in the United States.”

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts hosts the Monday Concert Series to allow students to be able to experience a wide variety of types and styles of music. Kevin Shorner-Johnson, associate professor of music education, assisted in booking the group for the concert.

“They are outstanding artists; I want to bring great music to the campus. [They] explore Afro-Caribbean and West-Africa genres,” Shorner-Johnson said. “I think there is great value in bringing those genres to campus.”

Africa→West Percussion Trio is not the only group to perform in the concert series this semester. Faculty pianists Justin Badgerow and Debra Ronning performed earlier in the semester, and Trio Caprice, a group whose performances center on the Opus 70 (Ghost) trio by Beethoven, will perform Monday, April 16.

Music students attend for class requirements, and because of how engaging the performances tend to be. Senior music major Justin Pechulis has been to several of them.

“The Monday Concert Series is a great way for students, of any major, to experience a variety of different musical performances,” Pechulis said. “These options show students the variety of music for different types of ensembles, bringing them right to the stage of Leffler.” “We are very excited to perform at Elizabethtown College,” Josh Ryan said. “Sharing our
music with young musicians, prospective teachers and the community, at large, is ideal. Colleges and universities provide the ideal setting for a musical exchange of ideas.”

The trio fits in perfectly with the purpose of the Monday Concert Series, bringing culture to E-town via the arts.

“It enriches culture on our campus for all students and all majors,” Shorner-Johnson said. “It’s really important if we are going to have a vibrant liberal arts community that the arts are present, because the arts are one way of encountering the world.”

The Monday Concert Series performances are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Amy Reynolds at or 717-361-1212.


Christian A.L. Villarosa Bio
Christian A.L. Villarosa is a mass communications major and creative writing minor at Elizabethtown College. He is a triple jumper for the Elizabethtown College track and field team. His other hobbies include photography and creative writing.

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