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Students Enjoy Indonesian Music-Making in York

Photocall: York St John University music students get some first hand tuition from musicians from SambaSunda Quintet on Monday 20 February at 12.30pm at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York

Musicians from the Indonesian SambaSunda Quintet will be extending their stay in York to work with a group of BA Hon first year music students from York St John University on Monday 20 February.

The group, who are performing at the NCEM on Sunday 19 February at 7.30pm, will return the following day to run a practical workshop to give the students a greater understanding of a different musical style.

SambaSunda brings together a dazzling array of instruments including kacapi (a boat-shaped zither), violin, suling (a bamboo flute) and kendang drums, to create a new kind of Gamelan orchestra. They are known for fusing urban rhythms with the ancient instruments and tones of the Indonesian music. The group on this tour has stripped down to a quintet, revealing the beauty of their instruments and the intricacies of their playing.

Chris Bartram, Senior Lecturer in Music at York St John University, was thrilled that his students had the opportunity to take part in this initiative. He added: "This is an exciting addition to the course, the students will attend a performance at the NCEM and then get to meet with the musicians and learn more about this musical style - this is a real privilege.

"All first year students studying music take part in a module entitled 'drumming'. The module is an exploration of rhythm and percussion, from its roots at the beginning of human consciousness, via the music of various world musical traditions, through to the development of percussion music in Western classical, contemporary and popular music traditions.

"This module supports the development of practical musicianship and understanding of performance, through the medium of percussion and allows students to develop their awareness of rhythm and pulse, skills in working with drums and other percussion instruments and increase their knowledge of a wide range of percussion styles and genres. Opportunities to take part in workshops of this nature are invaluable to the students

"We like the students to experience as much practical work as possible. Workshops we have run to date include African demes drumming with David Boston, one of our ex-students and now one of the members of Blackbeard's Tea Party, a band rapidly rising to the top of the folk and world music festival circuits. Students also had training in percussion playing and performance from Janet Fulton, percussionist with the Manchester Camerata."

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM, was delighted to welcome York St John University students into the building. She added that the SambaSunda Quintet was part of the 'Making Tracks' music series organised by Kapa Productions who bring some extraordinarily talented world music musicians to York as part of a partnership with 12 major music venues in the UK.

To book tickets to see the SambaSunda Quintet at the NCEM on Sunday 19 February, go to or call the Box Office on 01904 658338.
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Press Contact:             Melanie Paris
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