Arts & Culture

UK School of Music Presents World Music and Dance Concert

The World Music and Dance Concert will feature the UK Gamelan Angklung Langen Kerti Ensemble, the UK Hanulchida Korean Drumming and Folksong ensembles, the UK Bluegrass Ensemble, the Korean Folksong group and Teddy Kabengele from the Democratic Republic.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 24, 2022) — The University of Kentucky School of Music World Music Ensembles will present the World Music and Dance Concert at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

The performance will feature the UK Gamelan Angklung Langen Kerti Ensemble with special guests I Made Lasmawan and Ni Ketut Marni; the UK Hanulchida Korean Drumming and Folksong ensembles, directed by Donna Kwon; the UK Bluegrass Ensemble, directed by Ellyn Washburne; the Korean Folksong group, directed by Hada Jang; and Teddy Kabengele from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, accompanied by Lee Carroll. 

A Balinese Gamelan Ensemble is a traditional percussion ensemble from Indonesia. The UK Balinese Gamelan Ensemble features the 4-pitched gamelan angklung from Bali, and includes various large and medium bronze gongs, keyed xylophones of various sizes, drums, suling flutes and other percussion instruments like the distinctive turtle-shaped ceng ceng. Balinese gamelan is known for its shimmering, metallic sound and fast interlocking patterns called “kotekan.” The Balinese gamelan angklung set used by the UK Gamelen Ensemble was purchased in 2016 and was bestowed the name “Langen Kerti” in a special naming ceremony by Master Artist I Made Lasmawan. The expression “langen kerti” means to enjoy the activities of a happy life or to “follow your bliss.” The gamelan will be performing two dance pieces: a beguiling female dance called Taman Sari and a solo male dance from the Topeng Keras masked dance drama. In addition, they will also perform two traditional pieces for gamelan angklung. The first is Tabuh Kempur Dang and features three movements with complex interlocking kotkean patterns. The second is Dongkang Menek Biyu (lit., “frog climbing a banana tree”), which is a traditional gamelan angklung piece played for Balinese cremation ceremonies.  

The UK Korean Percussion Ensemble Hanulchida or “Drum the Sky” features Korean percussion instruments including the hourglass-shaped changgo, the puk barrel drum, the large jing gong and the small hand-held gong called the “swe.” They will perform an adapted version of a canonic piece in the samulnori repertoire called “Uddhari p’ungmul.”  

Under the direction of Ellyn Washburne, the UK Bluegrass Ensemble features string band instruments such as the banjo, violin, bass, guitar and mandolin. They will be performing “Kentucky Waltz,” “Salt Creek,” and “It’s Raining Here This Morning.”  

The Korean folksong group is a new addition to the UK World Music group and is directed by graduate student of ethnomusicology, Hada Jang. They will be performing a Korean folksong medley of songs from the southwestern region called “Namwon Sansong” and “Chindo Arirang.”  

Finally, we are honored to present multilingual musician and vocalist, Teddy Kabengele, who sings in Cibemba, Swahili, Lingala, French and English. He will be accompanied by Lexington-based musician Lee Carroll, director of C the Beat, Lee Carroll’s Ethos and Tin Can Buddha. Kabengele’s music is rooted in his ethnic Luba identity from the Democratic Republic of the Congo where he fled with his siblings to a refugee camp in Zambia as a young teenager. Growing up in a refugee camp in Zambia, Teddy sang and performed gospel music to comfort, encourage and entertain others in his community.  

From April 1-3, the UK Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology with be hosting the Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology (MIDSEM) Conference in a hybrid format of in-person and virtual presentations. Donna Lee Kwon, associate professor of ethnomusicology, has been appointed president of MIDSEM and Hada Jang has been appointed the student representative for 2022. Pre-registration is required. For more details visit or register here.

Kwon is also helping to organize a Day of Remembrance for victims of the Atlanta spa shootings, taking place 1-3 p.m. Sunday, March 27, in downtown Lexington. More details here

For more information, visit the UK School of Music’s World Music Ensembles website.

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