Middle School students welcomed a special visitor on Thursday, May 23 when master drummer and dancer Nani Agbeli visited the 8th grade world drumming class for an interactive workshop. Agbeli, a native of Ghana, has served on the faculty at a number of universities including Harvard University and Tufts University. He currently serves as director of West African Music, Dance, and Arts at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.
“This is particularly meaningful for me since Nani is from the village [in Ghana] where I’ve studied,” said Miriam Altman, Middle School music teacher. “It’s an opportunity for the 8th graders—who have been hearing stories about my teachers for years—to actually meet and interact with one of the Ewe masters.” Altman traveled to Ghana in 2016 as part of a USM Think Big grant, where she was able to study music and drumming at the Dagbe Cultural Institute, where Agbeli’s brother was one of her teachers.