The United States government recently reiterated its commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with Nigeria through music, arts and film.
Consul General Claire Pierangelo recently underscored this commitment through support for Morehouse College Glee Club in Atlanta, Georgia to host music masterclasses and choral performances for more than 1,000 high school and college students and conductors. choirs in Lagos, Enugu and Akwa Ibom states. .
The Glee Club, which is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first tour of Nigeria, performed American songs, especially African-American spirituals, which have roots in West African music with more than 30 student choral groups in the three states.
The masterclasses and choral performances, led by Morehouse Glee Club Director Professor David Morrow, Morehouse Glee Club singer Professor Timothy Miller and Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Africana Digital Ethnography Project, Dr. Aaron Carter-Enyi, provided participants with the opportunity to learn and improve their musical skills.
In his remarks during the grand finale held at the University of Lagos, Pierangelo noted that the masterclasses and choral performances highlighted the US Mission’s strong commitment to strengthening cultural relations between the two countries.
She underlined the importance of music as a powerful medium to foster cooperation, dialogue and promote cross-cultural collaboration.
“We recognize that we have many common interests, particularly in fields as diverse as music, film and the arts through which we create dialogue and exchange. The role of music in diplomacy cannot be overstated, especially with the emphasis on freedom of expression, creativity and collaborative teamwork,” she said.
Pierangelo said the deep ties between the United States and Nigeria extend through institutions such as Morehouse College and other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, which have continued to accept students. internationals seeking an education in the United States. , including many from Nigeria.
She revealed that Nigeria currently ranks first among African countries and the 10th largest country in the world with students in American institutions, and this has continued to expand the international partnership between the United States and Nigeria, deepening our bilateral relations.
“We are excited to see and support this capacity building for emerging music creators. I know these music masterclasses will deepen our cultural engagement with the Nigerian people and highlight the growing ties between the United States and Nigeria and the vast potential of African American music on the African continent and beyond,” she said.
Fifty years ago, the Morehouse College Glee Club held their first musical tour in Nigeria with the support of the US State Department and there were song exchanges between the two countries.