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Offerings Education Main 44
  • Culture | Africa, Cross Culture
  • Format | Workshop, School Assembly
  • Discipline | Music, Literary Arts
  • Level | Grades 3 to 5, Grades 6 to 8, Grades 9 to 12

Step by step, the teaching artist teaches the groups the melodies, the harmonies, the words, and the translations. Starting with vocal warm-ups and call and response, the students get comfortable and gain confidence in singing. Articulation, vocal projection, and rhythm are emphasized. Ultimately, the wonderful sound of choral singing fills the room.


Marsha Perry Starkes

Marsha Perry Starkes is a multifaceted musician who combines traditional African instruments and musical forms with contemporary influences. Her recordings include Bird Lives! Through the Neo Bass Ensemble, Hit It!, and Bebop meets Bass. She sings and plays the music of Africa, Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean. Marsha holds a B.S. in Theatre Arts from Marygrove College in Detroit, MI.

Women of the Calabash

Women of the Calabash, founded in 1978, combines traditional instruments, vocals, and music forms with contemporary influences to perform music from Africa, the Caribbean, and black America. Under artistic director Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, Women of the Calabash uses moments during workshops and performances to teach the history and playing techniques of the various instruments used, giving context to the music they perform. Women of the Calabash shared billing with performers such as the Temptations, Richie Havens, Philip Glass, Odetta, and more.

Ivy Austin

Ivy Austin is best known for her work on NPR as the vocalist and comedienne from Garrison Keillor's, "A Prairie Home Companion." After graduating from Colgate with a degree in Biology, she toured with "They're Playing Our Song" and a few years later she made her Broadway debut, in the title role of "Raggedy Ann." She has recorded over one hundred songs with The Muppets on "Sesame Street," and is particularly effective with youth and theatre in the Global Arts: cultural literacy and heritage programs.

Rachel Kara Perez

Rachel Kara Perez is an award-winning singer and theatre artist based in New York City. Rachel Kara is a new addition to the Symphony Space Global Arts faculty. As a teaching artist, she is involved with a number of organizations, using theatre, music, and dance to educate and uplift New York City and immigrant youth. Rachel Kara’s musical repertoire ranges from classical to Afro-Cuban Jazz, and she has appeared as a featured vocalist in concert at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Rachel Kara views teaching as her activism, and the arts as an invaluable social justice tool to build community, promote critical thinking, and, ultimately, to foster empathy. Rachel Kara received her B.A. from Marymount Manhattan College and her Master of Music in Classical Voice from Manhattan School of Music.

Eric Poindexter

Eric Poindexter is an actor, singer, and teaching artist who joined Symphony Space’s Global Arts program in 2016. Eric specializes in afterschool programs that concentrate on theater arts. Eric is also a cast-member of the arts collective and accompanying podcast “In Your Face-New York,” as well as a member of the Yip Harburg Foundation as an actor, singer, and educator dedicated to using theatre to promote education and social change.

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