SUNY Fredonia School of Music announces 2014 Academy Week: Arabic Music, June 16-20

Now in its third year, Academy Week at SUNY Fredonia offers specialized instruction in various fields of music study, with a unique focus each year. A combination of scholarly investigation, hands-on performance practice and public concert performances creates a unique and in-depth experience for musicians, educators and scholars. The week-long workshop is also available to college students (college credit is available and tuition discounts are offered) and for interested community members.

The 2014 Academy Week: Arabic Music is designed for all musicians, teachers and scholars who have an interest in gaining in-depth, hands-on experience with Arabic music, past and present, and how it relates to current practice and study. SUNY Fredonia is thrilled and honored to present three award-winning and leading scholars and performers in the field, George Dimitri Sawa, Suzanne Meyers Sawa and Michel Merhej Baklouk.

Renowned throughout the world for their expertise in the study and performance of Arabic music, these guest artists will engage participants in a week-long program exploring rhythmic and melodic modes, improvisational and ornamental techniques, frame drumming techniques, performance practice and much more. Participants will bring their voices and instruments to classes for study, technique and performance. The academy will open and close with public performances by the Sawas and Baklouk, and include daily lectures, workshops and time for individual practice and study.

“The past two years of Academy Week have attracted both international and local participants,” commented Dr. Kay Stonefelt, who has organized and hosted two highly successful past Academy Weeks with world-renowned marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe. “Arabic Music Academy will attract musicians and scholars who have an interest in current and past performance practices of musical genres that were and are influenced by Arabic culture. Historical information and concert performances will attract a broader segment of the Fredonia community who have interests in Arab music and culture, as well as in early music.”

Morning sessions will focus on the historical and theoretical backgrounds of the modal system (rhythmic and melodic modes), as well as ear training and performance techniques for vocalists and players of Western instruments.

These sessions will also include introductions to darabbukkah, frame drums, and some other instruments associated with Arabic music. Afternoon sessions will guide performance practice of short pieces based on materials from the morning sessions. Additional ensemble and solo playing sessions will build toward longer pieces in preparation for the evening and closing concerts.

Students will emerge from Academy Week with a clearer understanding of the medieval theory of the rhythmic and melodic modes of Arabic music, and will be able to apply this knowledge to a broader understanding and more informed approach to musical practices of today. Course credit is available, and significant discounts are offered for college students.

Arabic Music Academy Week is supported in part by the Fredonia College Foundation Carnahan-Jackson Humanities Fund. Complete Academy Week information and registration is online at Fredonia.edu/music/Arabic-music-academy/ .

Questions may be sent directly to Dr. Kay Stonefelt, stonefel@fredonia.edu