In Case You Missed It!

October 14th, 2013 Posted in In Case You Missed It

Editor’s Note:  Barry Bilderback was originally run in the fall/winter 2009 edition of The Spartan.  You can read more about Dr. Bilderback in this issue of Get Inspired in our cover story.

Norman Lee, Director of Student Affairs with Pauline Copes-Johnson granddaughter of Harriett Tubman.  Photos taken at Cayuga CC function and on visits to Ghana.

Barry and Ann-Marie visiting Hawaii

Barry T. Bilderback, Ph.D ’84 resides in Moscow, Idaho where he is an assistant professor of music history and ethnomusicology at the University of Idaho/Lionel Hampton School of Music.  Barry graduated from CCC in 1984 and met his wife, Ann-Marie in 1989 while she was attending CCC.  Barry went on to receive his B.A. degree in applied music from SUNY Oswego (1991—Magna Cum Laude) and his M.A. in music history from the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts (1994).  Having earned his Ph.D. in music history from the University Of Oregon School Of Music (2001) he also received the School of Music’s GTF Excellence in Teaching Award in the academic area.

Prior to his Lionel Hampton School of Music appointment, Dr. Bilderback taught at Linfield College and the University of Oregon. He is also a past president of the College Music Society/Pacific Northwest Chapter (2003-2005). With a dissertation and focus of study on N.A. Rimskii-Korsakov and 19th century Russian nationalism, Dr. Bilderback was awarded the Council of International Education and Exchange travel grant and scholarship whereby he studied and conducted research in St. Petersburg, Russia.  While giving numerous conference papers for the College Music Society, Society of Ethnomusicology, and the American Musicological Society, he has also presented his research at the University of London (Goldsmith College) for the Rimskii-Korsakov International Festival and Conference.  Dr. Bilderback has also received an honorary membership to the American Slavic Society.

On the home front, Barry is currently in collaboration with fellow “Auburnian professors and scholars,” John Lamphere, Jim Viccaro, and Donald Schramm, to write an expose on the music tradition of Auburn Prison.   The project is titled “Copper John’s Band” The History and Role of Music Inside the Auburn Correctional Facility”.  He presented their initial research for the College Music Society/Pacific Northwest Chapter in April 2009

Barry with Professor Komala Amoaku, from the Ewe ethnic group in Ghana summer 2009

Barry with Professor Komala Amoaku, from
the Ewe ethnic group in Ghana summer 2009

Dr. Bilderback’s overseas teaching includes a study abroad course in Vienna, Salzburg and Prague during the 2006 Mozart Festival. Having recently returned from Ghana, Africa, where he conducted a study abroad course in Ghanaian drumming and dance.  Dr. Bilderback is researching contemporary Ghanaian institutions and the way(s) traditional music is taught. In his study, he is collaborating with renowned master drummer Prof. Komla Amoaku (Founder and Director of the Institute for Ghanaian Music-an organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional culture), Prof. Kofi Anyidoho (University of Ghana), and Nii “Chief” Tettey Tetteh (Founder and Director of the Kusun Cultural Centre). Prof. Komla Amoaku is from the Ewe ethnic group and is a world renowned ethnomusicologist. Dr. Bilderback has presented his research on the Ghanaian aslatua tradition of the Ga people for the 2008 International Conference of “Music, Health, and Happiness,” held at the Royal College of Music, Manchester, UK.  He has also received a Key Grant and The Innovation/Integration Teaching Grant for his current project titled “Project Nungua: Environmental and Cultural Awarness in Ghana.” Through the grant funding he returned to Ghana in summer 2009 to continue research on “The Institutionalization of Traditional Music in Ghana.” The primary focus is on fieldwork conducted with the Ga and Ewe ethnic groups.

In October 2009 Dr. Bilderback will present a paper at the National Conference for the College Music Society titled, “They Do Not Play What is not Written Down:  Contextualing Oral Tradition in African-American Musical Studies”.

Through the University of Idaho, Dr. Bilderback received a Key Grant and Seed Grant to return to Ghana in the summer of 2010 to continue research, transcriptions, and interviews with Prof. Komla Amoaku and Hunor Gatukpe Dogah (Chief/High Priest of the Kpeve Village in the Southern Volta Region.) He has also received a USAC visiting professorship to teach at the University of Ghana.

In his spare time, Barry is a freelance society-style jazz pianist.  He also continues his work on the violin and the flute while fine-tuning his kpanlogo and djembe drumming skills under the direction of Ghanaian master drummer Nii Ardey Allotey, and Guinean master drummer Alseny Yansane, as well as continuing his work on the Auburn Prison Project.

October 2013 Update:  Barry recently performed at CCC with The Spirit of Akwaaba:  Ghana’s Music, Dance & Culture, a discussion and drumming program, which explores the culture of Ghana.  To read more, see our cover story in this issue.

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