April 13, 2023
MPA’s music department was fortunate to host Sowah Mensah as an artist in residency from April 10-14. Sowah is a current professor at St. Thomas and Macalester, and is world-renowned as a “master drummer” from Accra, Ghana. As an ethnomusicologist, he teaches in many settings and even directs Sankofa, a Ghanaian Folklore and Dance Ensemble in the Twin Cities. Sowah enjoys an active performance career in addition to teaching. He has toured in China, the United States, Latin America, and has worked with notable forces in the Twin Cities music scene, including Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Chanticleer, Minnesota Center Chorale, St. Paul Civic Symphony, and more.
Sowah has been collaborating with Mr. Warner all week, and also working with Ms. Wantock’s Upper School percussion ensemble to create amazing music with different percussion instruments of Africa in a unique and collaborative style. The MPA community is invited to observe the final performance on Friday, April 14. This is an enriching opportunity for the school and its students, and it was fascinating to observe him guide the young musicians to facilitate confidence, competence, and expression through playing the different instruments. Sowah’s step-by-step teaching methods broke down the challenging aspects and made it a fun experience to learn and perform in African, whether students were in Upper or Middle School! We’re incredibly grateful that he shared his expertise, culture, and knowledge with MPA and its students! To view the full album of photos from the week, click here.