Arts & Culture

UK World Music, Dance Concert to Feature Throatsinger, Balinese Performers

Throatsinger Tamir Hargana performing "Ekii Ataar" at Chicago's 2016 Chinese New Year Celebration Kick-off.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2018) Join the University of Kentucky School of Music for its 14th annual UK World Music and Dance Concert with special guests Tamir Hargana, Pak Made Lasmawan and Ni Ketut Marni 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. In light of the School of Music’s 100th anniversary, this concert celebrates the school’s continuing commitment to world music.

As part of Tamir Hargana’s residency on campus, the school will also offer a workshop in Inner Mongolian throatsinging from 4-5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in the Niles Gallery at the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. Additionally, Hargana will collaborate with various musicians in a special performance at Al’s Bar 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. All events are free and open to the public. 

This concert’s special guests build on a longstanding engagement with the music of East Asia and Southeast Asia at UK. This focus was initiated by Kuo-Huang Han, who began the annual tradition of the UK World Music and Dance Concert, and continues with current organizers, Donna Kwon and Erin Walker Bliss. Through a “China Into Colleges” grant from the UK Confucius Institute, the school is thrilled to invite Hargana, a musician and throatsinger from Inner Mongolia, to Lexington.

The Saturday concert will feature the school’s newly-acquired UK Balinese Gamelan Angklung Langen Kerti ensemble. This gamelan was recently bestowed the name “Langen Kerti,” which means “follow your bliss.” The gamelan angklung set is based on a scale of four pitches and is used commonly in ritual ceremonies in Bali.

“We are very fortunate to be able to invite special guests Pak Made Lasmawan and his wife Ni Ketut Marni (teachers of Balinese music and dance at Colorado College), who have graciously agreed to perform with us again this year,” Kwon said.

The gamelan will perform a traditional dance piece called “Puspanjali” that features female dancers who will offer flowers to the gods, as well as another piece composed by Lasmawan called “Belimbing Buluh,” which means “a sour starfruit.” This composition has three movements of different tempos and techniques and includes many different types of kotekan, or interlocking parts. Lastly, the ensemble will play a lively marching gamelan, or gamelan beleganjur piece, that features many different contrasting rhythms.

The concert will also feature two other UK ensembles. The first to be showcased will be the UK Bluegrass and Old-time ensemble, led by Ellyn Washburne. The other university ensemble, UK’s Mbirakats will present the music of Zimbabwe, with pieces from the traditional Shona mbira dzavadzimu repertoire.

In addition, the program will welcome special guest Jooseon Cho, a Korean singer, who will perform an excerpt of p’ansori from “The Story of Shimcheong.” P’ansori is an emotional form of Korean musical theatre that traditionally features a single performer who uses a combination of singing, dramatic storytelling and movement to weave together the voices of distinct characters. Cho teaches at Hanyang University in Korea and will be accompanied by Korean drummer Jongyun Yang .

The 14th UK World Music and Dance Concert is sponsored by the UK’s World Music program, the School of Music, the Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology, the College of Fine Arts, the “China Into Colleges” grant from the UK Confucius Institute and Green Room Exchange. For more information about these events, contact Donna Kwon, associate professor of ethnomusicology, by email at or by phone at 859-257-4912.

Currently celebrating its 100th anniversary, the School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, theory and music history.

photo of Tamir Hargana seated by instruments and holding one
photo of Balinese dancers and musicians

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue