University of Pittsburgh

Gamelan Joins PSO for Schooltime Concerts

Front, L-R: Nita Yulia, Christina Rudenborg, Hei Ting Wong, Jeff Klein. Back, L-R: Kevin O’Brien, Indra Ridwan, Keith Maki.

During three days in January, the University Gamelan joined forces with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and other world music performers and groups to introduce fourth graders from all over Western Pennsylvania to the diversity of global musical cultures. The PSO’s “Schooltime” concerts took place at Heinz Hall under the leadership of conductor Fawzi Haimor. The program had two goals: to show how Western concert music composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, and Nielsen looked beyond the West for musical inspiration, and to provide children with first-hand experiences of world music.

Indra-Ridwan- Heinz HallThroughout the one-hour program, the PSO alternated performances with guest artists including Pitt’s Gamelan, Pittsburgh Taiko, and erhu performer Adam Liu. Gamelan instructor Indra Ridwan (PhD 2014) arranged a special medley to demonstrate the variety of compositional forms in gamelan music. Ridwan combined the traditional song "Lalayaran" ("Sailing") and a modern song, "Sekar Manis" ("Sweet Melody"), offering a window into the dynamic and vital nature of the gamelan music of West Java, Indonesia.

Over 5000 students came into Heinz Hall over the course of those three days, each one getting a glimpse of the tremendous diversity of, and connections between, musical expressions around the world. We are pleased that the University Gamelan was able to partner with the Pittsburgh Symphony in such a successful educational outreach program.

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