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Selkirk College Music Faculty Prepare Set of African-Infused Songs for Annual Show

Bob Hall
By Bob Hall
September 13th, 2015

A new relationship with a music school in Rwanda will be celebrated at the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program’s annual faculty concert that invites the community to come together for a night of African-inspired selections.

The annual fundraising evening features the immensely talented program faculty who will take the stage at the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on the Tenth Street Campus for two nights of fantastic entertainment on September 22 and 23.

This year’s show will be raising money to help grow a relationship with the Nyundo School of Art & Music. With the support of the Rwandan government, the school was established by Canadian musician Mighty Popo. A Rwandan/Burundian refugee who survived the horrors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Popo’s family fled to Canada where he eventually established himself as one of the country’s leading world music performers. He won a 2005 Juno Award for World Music Album of the Year as part of a project called “The African Guitar Summit.”

The Mighty Popo is bringing a group of students to British Columbia later this month to perform and spread goodwill. Nelson is one of the stops where they will join music faculty and current students on stage.

“To have a musician of the calibre of Popo coming to speak with our students and perform at this show is a tremendous opportunity,” says Parenteau. “It’s going to be an amazing night of music in Nelson.”

The Nyundo School of Art & Music is located in the Rubavu district of the Western Province of Rwanda. The school encourages confidence in musical expression and supports professional development. Through the leadership of Popo, it enhances capacity for students and builds transferable skills while supporting existing traditional music and musical instrumentation in all aspects of the Rwandan music industry.

The partnership with the Rwandan school is still in its infancy, but Parenteau hopes it will grow into a flourishing exchange in future years.

“There are so many possibilities on both sides,” says Parenteau. “In the future we would like to see students and staff travel to Rwanda as guest instructors. This opens up a whole new world of opportunities for our students and is a real chance for music to bring everybody closer together.”

Funds raised at the faculty concert will go towards future travel to Rwanda. Admission is by donation with a suggested minimum of $10. Doors open at 7 p.m. on both nights with the music starting at 7:30 p.m. Come early, this show fills the house every year.


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