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NANA AMINSAH BOAFO PERCUSSION FESTIVAL, GHANA

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GHANA PERCUSSIVE ARTS SOCIETY

History of Ghana PAS

 

Do you believe in the American saying " No Pain No Gain"? This special statement attest to the diligency at which a dedicated Ghanaian residing in the United States has exhibited ever since helping to found the Ghana Chapter of the world famous, Percussive Arts Society.

As you already know or might be aware, before written history in most parts of Africa, there was oral traditions where the history of a community was passed down to generations. On this site we would like an interractive approach by letting you feel like you are part of us. We would tell our story as if , it's folktale being narrated by an elder Opanyin Kweku Amoasi of Enyan Nkodwo, an Arts Impressario from Ghana.

"Agoo", Opanyin Amoasi would say in Fantse ( an ethnic language that is spoken by the coastal communities of the Central and western regions of Ghana.

Your response to "Agoo- which is an attention seeking medium) is "Amee"...which translates as " the listener or reader is ready.

Now hear the story......

In  November, 2003,Mr. Harold Akyeampong aka Okyerema, then a student at State University of New York College at Brockport initiated a community volunteer program called KUSUM AGORO MULTICULTURAL ARTS PROJECT-(KAMAP-USA) in the Rochester area. He visited many colleges and the success of it led to an invitation by Kristen McGuire, the director of Percussion at Nazareth College for a visit to her college. He was invited to facilitate a workshop on Ghanaian drumming and dance at the department. Harold, who was then writing his finals found time to visit the College. The class that day, according some of the students was " special, fun and highly educative". 

After the workshop, Harold and Kristen had a lenghty conversation on various subjects and one of them was  the mention of the Percussive Arts Society and an advice to found a Ghana Chapter. It was not all that smooth as there were obligations to be met. As one of the fundamental requirements, Harold needed 10 fee paying members in Ghana to start.  With Ghana's economy and asking drummers to pay a fee in dollars was like trying to catch a hungry lion with bare hands.. Well, It's all history now, he found some willing percussionists from Ghana and so the first discounted fees were paid.

Harold was appointed as an interim President by the President- elect in consultation with all the staff at PAS office.  His appoinment has been confirmed and Harold has left no stone unturned. He has coordinated two Days of Percussions ( 2004 & 2005) in Ghana with some financial support from PAS and resource from other private donors as well as from his own private source.

This year's programme is planned as a preparation towards the 2007's which is to be organized in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi. Already a lot of international groups have expressed interests to participate in the Ghana's DOP 2007.   

NANA AMINSAH BOAFO FESTIVAL ( DURBAR AT NEW EDUBIASE-25TH JULY, 2006)

The Ghana Day of Percussion is christened NANA AMINSAH BOAFO in honor of the ancestors of the founder of the Ghana Chapter. The festival which is going to be a three day event will bring percussion teachers, students, professional, amateur and community groups and individuals as they showcase their expertise to promote cultural tolerance, peace and security.

Special guests groups and individuals have been invited from the United States and Belgium. Among them is Professors Kwabena Ashanti and Kweku Walker, both American senior lecturers who have special interests in African folkways.    The Kusum Agoro Ensemble of the A. E. Smith High School will be represented by a student performer.

From Ghana, the highlighted groups will be the Elmina Dance Ensemble that has just returned from a US tour and the Africana Dance Ensemble of Accra, one of the best groups in Ghana. Also anticipated are a group from Kumasi possibly from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology's Center for Cultural & African Studies( CASS).

 

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