The 7th/8th Grade chorus has already begun rehearsing their program for the Spring Concert. One selection will be a West African Yoruba song, "Kiya Kiya." In order to provide cultural, geographic, musical and linguistic context for the students, Choral Director Jessica invited Oluwatosin Ajirotutu, "Tosin", an accomplished professional musician originally from Lagos who performs Nigerian music throughout the US, to meet with students during assemblies last week.
Tosin brought his Nigerian talking drum and performed at both Lower School and Upper School assemblies. A hands-on explanation of the unique qualities of the drum followed. As students passed the drum around, Tosin explained that squeezing the ropes on the sides of the instrument changes its pitch. These changes are meant to emulate the sound of a voice in the Yoruba language.
For those attending the concert on May 22, Tosin will accompany the singers on his drum. GVS is fortunate to have been introduced to Tosin through the Babatunde family.