Rhythm Chant: Professor drums up special music for Chancellor’s Inaugural

Prof. Cheryl GrossoWhen a distinguished group of faculty members and visiting delegates prepares to march during opening ceremonies for the Oct. 30 inauguration of new Chancellor Thomas K. Harden at UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center, they’ll do so to Prof. Cheryl Grosso’s beat.

Grosso, an award-winning percussionist and composer as well as a 1978 graduate of UW-Green Bay, has composed special music for the occasion.

Listen to ‘Rhythm Chant Harden’

2.7 MB | 2:58

She directs the student Hand Drumming Ensemble, which will perform her new work Rhythm Chant Harden during the processional and her composition Rhythm Chant for Old Men during the recessional. The processional is named, of course, for the University’s new chancellor, while the recessional was inspired by the African custom of storytelling by male tribal elders.

Grosso holds the prestigious Frankenthal Professorship at UW-Green Bay. Her Rhythm Chant series blends contemporary and non-Western percussion traditions.

The year 2009 has been a prolific one for an already prolific scholar. Her first composition for a large wind band, Hum Bom!, was performed by the UW-Green Bay Wind Symphony in spring. The chime melody that sounds hourly across campus was her contribution to the June dedication of the new Weidner Memorial Carillon. The Inaugural work will have its inaugural performance on Oct. 30.

Prof. Grosso earned her bachelor’s degree at UW-Green Bay, a master’s in fine arts from California Institute of the Arts, and a doctor of musical arts from the University of Iowa. She has been a member of the UW-Green Bay music faculty since 1985.

For more about the inauguration of Chancellor Thomas K. Harden, and a schedule of inauguration events, see the Inauguration Website.

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