There is no other event on Miami University’s campus that brings together the amazing musical talent of its students and internationally renowned artists. This weekend marks another year’s presentation of Global Rhythms, a decades-old tradition brought to Miami by alumnus Srinivas Krishnan.
Over the years Global Rhythms has grown into the huge collaborative program that it is today. Two ensemble choirs, Collegiate Chorale and the Choraliers will be performing, conducted by Jeremy Jones. These, as well as the Jazz Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, will share the stage with a large variety of guest artists. The list of international talent includes a Mid-East fusion band, a string orchestra comprising of 24 child prodigies, a steel drum ensemble and a collection of dancers from multiple countries. This year, Miami is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to welcome four Grammy-winning artists to the stage, including AR Rahman, composer of the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack.
As with any stage production, the logistics of coordinating a huge event such as Global Rhythms will be the biggest concern, particularly this year in which there are 400 performers to organize. According to Srinivas Krishnan, director of Global Rhythms, the shows this year will focus on all the senses, not just the music.
“We looked at a map of the world and we tried to find the color and texture from around the world and bring these cultures into the show,” Krishnan said.
On the desk in his office was another package of bright, colorful silks from around the world. The handmade costume pieces have slowly been collected over the past six months in anticipation of the large group of performers to be onstage. All the senses will be included in this exploration of the world. On Saturday night, there will be an Indian food tasting that is covered by the ticket price, catered by a Cincinnati restaurant.
Besides the audience perspective of a wonderfully diverse show, the Global Rhythms program has been an excellent learning experience for students of music and students who love music, for years. “It translates into a powerful experience for students … It allows for one to be one with the music, creating music,” Krishnan said.
The participating students get to experience and learn more about music from around the world. Chorale and Choraliers perform global music throughout their season, but Global Rhythms is the time in which they get to share the stage with well-known international artists. This is also a great opportunity for music students to get unique musical experiences.
Jones, the conductor of Chorale and the Choraliers for the show, mentioned that this show gives student leaders the chance to collaborate. They are able to take active involvement in leadership positions in many areas from the technical logistics to the artistic arrangements for the performance. Lara Wolford, a music education major and member of Collegiate Chorale has in the past conducted, sung, played the drums, danced and played the trumpet at Global Rhythms. The most important message of Global Rhythms is that music is universal across cultures. Krishnan began the program with three or four performers and has branched out to include music from all over, connecting cultures through music. “It’s that we’re all speaking the same emotional language; we’re all doing the same thing,” Wolford said.
Global Rhythms will be presented 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Hall Auditorium. Tickets are available through the Miami University Box Office and are $9 for the public and $7 for students on Friday and $12 for the public and $9 for students on Saturday.