[Press and Public Relations] Celebrating Cultural Diversity - Musician in Residence at University of Leicester Richard Attenborough Centre

February 2001

No 10

The University of Leicester Richard Attenborough Centre has been awarded funding of 30,000 from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts for an innovative and multicultural music education project.

Mexican percussionist, Alonso Mendoza, will lead a series of workshops dealing with Latin rhythms and performance based on Cuban/Salsa percussion techniques. He will also explore twentieth century percussion repertoire in demonstration lectures, and will encourage student composers to write new music for percussion ensembles to perform. Each term participants will give a public performance of percussion music.

The project, which will be staged over 36 weeks (three academic terms), is expected to meet the musical needs of the multicultural population of Leicester as well as the international population of the University. Open to all, the project will particularly welcome people with disability.

It will take place on two days a week and is due to start on 15 February 2001. Inclusive in its approach, it will promote lifelong learning strategies for all, including disabled groups, youth groups, students and staff at the University of Leicester and throughout the wider community of Leicester and Leicestershire.

Participants will work in ensembles and Alonso Mendoza will teach aspects of world music traditions from Latin America. He will explore the twentieth century percussion repertoire in demonstration lectures and will encourage student composers to write new music for percussion ensembles to perform.

The final performance of the year will be under the directorship of Caroline Sharman. This will be a multimedia installation, whose theme will focus on identity, the Labyrinth of Life. It will combine elements drawn from percussion music, dance, drama, the use of technology and visual arts.

Alonso Mendoza was born in Mexico. After graduating with honours from the University of Mexico he completed his Master's degree at The Royal Conservatoire of the Hague, Holland., More recently he has worked with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and has lectured at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He is currently researching African music at the University of London. From February 2001 Alonso will be the Artist in Residence at the Richard Attenborough Centre.

Caroline Sharman is an international music theatre director who, as well as her work with distinguished opera companies round the world (including Glyndebourne and Covent Garden), is equally at home directing community music theatre, one of which was nominated for an Olivier Award.

Philip Herbert, Organising Tutor for Music at the Richard Attenborough Centre said : "At the Richard Attenborough Centre we are delighted with this news. The project will benefit the multicultural city of Leicester and the county of Leicestershire, together with the University of Leicester."

For details of Celebrating Cultural Diversity please call the Richard Attenborough Centre, (0116) 252 2455, email RACentre@le.ac.uk

Note to Editors: Further information on Celebrating Cultural Diversity at the Richard Attenborough Centre is available from Philip Herbert, telephone (0116) 252 2455, direct line (0116) 223 1526, email pah14@le.ac.uk

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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 12 February 2001 11:03
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