Music college links up live with New York

27 September 2007 | Story by Megan Morris

Curving space: Deputy Vice-Chancellor Martin West and UCT graduate Kathleen Tagg, now with the Manhattan School of Music in New York, have an inter-continental chat during a live video conference.

On 23 September, on the eve of Heritage Day, UCT's South African College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music in New York City were locked in a live video conference, part of a South African Music Day in New York.

Christianne Orto of the Manhattan School of Music first mooted the music day to SACM graduate Kathleen Tagg, now a celebrated pianist in the US and also a doctoral student and teacher at the school. Tagg was determined to get the SACM into the act, though. Which she did, with help from the SACM's Paul Sedres and the Communication and Marketing Department.

Transmitting live from the Oliver Tambo Moot Court in the Kramer Building, panellists Sylvia Bruinders of the SACM, Colin Miller of the Arts Council of Switzerland in South Africa and SACM doctoral student Ncebakazi Mnukwana (all pictured left) gave the US audience a potted introduction to the sounds of and debates around South African music.

And from the US, Associate Professor Martin Scherzinger talked on the strong but unsung influence of African music on European musical traditions. The conference was an ideal accompaniment to the music day, which featured the works of a score of South African composers and musicians.

"The aim is purely to promote South African music in New York, one of the world's great cultural centres," said Tagg.

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