Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What We Did Over Summer "Break": Part 3

WMC logo
courtesy of
Another one our faculty who had a busy summer was Dr. Gifford Howarth of the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance, who spent three weeks as a judge at the 17th World Music Contest in Kerkrade, Netherlands. Hosted by the artistic council of The Netherlands, the event takes place every four years in which musical groups from throughout the world come to perform and compete. A majority of the groups are from The Netherlands and Germany as well as from Singapore, Thailand, Japan, China, France, Spain, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil, among others.

Howarth was one of nine international judges who adjudicated the Marching and Show Band Contest along with a Concert Percussion Contest. “Back in 2005, I met two gentlemen from The Netherlands who were attending a national percussion competition which I was judging. They brought me over to The Netherlands a couple of times between 2006-2008. I was invited to adjudicate the 2009 World Music Contest. I was then invited back to the 2013 WMC,” said Howarth.

The judges being introduced before the contest
(photo courtesy of Dr. Howarth)
“One of the most interesting aspects of the 2013 event was how much better the percussion ensembles were from 2009 to 2013. The growth was impressive. I have been fascinated with the different style of music from the different countries present in the Marching and Showband contest. Some of these groups are similar to our ‘marching band’ or drum corps and some of them are very similar to traditional military bands,” said Howarth.

Dr. Howarth (left) with fellow judge Ruud Böhmer
(photo courtesy of Dr. Howarth)

“In my view, this is a real ‘melting pot’ of different styles of music from throughout the world. Several of the groups compete using a very traditional approach which has been around for hundreds of years. Some groups have a more contemporary approach,” said Howarth.

Hopefully, we will see Dr. Howarth return to the World Music Contest in 2017!

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