Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Bark

Ghanaian Artist in Residence Coming to SWOSU and Weatherford


Dr. J.S. Kofi Gbolonyo, director of African Music and Dance Ensemble and sessional lecturer in ethnomusicology at the University of British Columbia, will be in Weatherford on September 22-24 to host the 2016 Interdisciplinary Music Honors Event as an artist in residence.

Gbolonyo, a native of Ghana, is an internationally renowned scholar, educator, performer and clinician in African music and dance, the African Orff Schulwerk (Orff-Afrique), and multicultural music education. He has presented around the world and will be appearing at SWOSU and East Elementary School in Weatherford.

A shared active music making workshop for students of SWOSU, East Elementary School, and free to the public will take place at 6:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, September 22 in the Weatherford Public Schools Performing Arts Center.

The second and third grade students of East Elementary will learn the authentic Ghanaian songs, dances and instrumental pieces from Gbolonyo through aural tradition practices on Friday, September 23. Parallel to the music being introduced, Gbolonyo will discuss the cultural traditions and beliefs of the Ghanaian people. Students will be active as dancers, singers and player of children’s music and games from the Ewe people of eastern Ghana.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, Gbolonyo will host an Orff Afrique workshop in the Weatherford Performing Arts Center. Music teachers in Weatherford and neighboring communities are strongly encouraged to take the advantage of the continuing education opportunity to learn about Ghanaian music and how to instruct their students to instrumentally perform and dance in the Orff Afrique.  The cost is $25 per attendee. SWOSU students with ID may attend the event for free.

Funding for the Artist in Residence project is generously supported by the SWOSU Foundation, Inc., Oklahoma Arts Council, Central Oklahoma Orff Chapter and Weatherford Public School District. Proceeds from events of this project are to support Gbolonyo’s Ghana School Project: Nunya (Wisdom) Academy of Dzodze (his hometown), educating Ghanaian young people in traditional African music, Western music and music technology. 

 For further information about attending or being involved in Gbolonyo’s 2016 Interdisciplinary Music Honors Event, contact Dr. ChihChen Sophia Lee, director of the SWOSU music therapy program, at 580-774-3218 or; or Marti Bessinger, music instructor at East Elementary School and SWOSU adjunct instructor, at