Performers Bring the Middle East to Dickinson Teach Students
According to their web site, Al-Bustan is a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization founded with the intent to spread Arabic culture and music. “Al-Bustan,” Arabic for “The Garden,” offers structured exposure to the language, art, architecture, music, dance, literature, and natural environment of the Arab world,” explains the web site www.albustanseeds.org.
The four performers who came to Dickinson ranged in experience from musical directors to masters of percussion and string instruments.
After a brief introduction in Weiss Hall at 4:30 p.m. volunteers were separated by their interest and sent off to practice with one of the four performers. Students spent the next hour and a half with the performers practicing playing percussion, string instruments and vocals. After a brief hiatus for a catered dinner the students returned to Rubendall Recital Hall.
During the hour-long recital the musicians performed a selection of classical songs from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. After 30 minutes the volunteers, having spent the afternoon training, took the stage to perform alongside the professional musicians.
“Performing was awesome,” gushed Yoleidy Rosario ’10, one of the afternoon performers. “It was challenging but the instructor kept us motivated. It was definitely something I’d be interested in looking into at a later time.”