International Music Hour the Product of Collaboration – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

International Music Hour the Product of Collaboration

HWS radio station WEOS 89-7 FM and the Colleges Partnership for Global Education have joined forces to offer a weekly opportunity for international music and culture.

February 15, 2002 Geneva, N.Y. – The Hobart and William Smith Colleges Partnership for Global Education and the Colleges’ radio station, WEOS 89.7 FM, present Musical Migrations, a new, student-led international music and culture hour. Musical Migrations will air at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, in its new weekly time slot. Each week, host Ken Pendergast and producer Mary Parkman traverse the globe in search of stirring songs and funky rhythms, focusing on a country, a region, a theme or a genre. As the semester progresses Musical Migrations will feature stories from abroad by HWS students, interviews and exclusive performances with visiting musicians, and guest hosts presenting the music they know best–in the context needed to make it understandable.

The first Musical Migration takes the listener on an international journey through the jazz world, highlighting elements of traditional music and other modern national genres that have seeped into jazz, from flamingo hand clapping and variable Balkan rhythms to conch shell horns and evocations of blurry nights in Tijuana.

The Partnership for Global Education (PGE) is a cooperation between Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., and Union College in Schenectady, N.Y funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It enables students to meet a broader range of curricular and programmatic objectives by offering a joint menu of opportunities for international study to students on both campuses and managing programs collaboratively to maximize their scope. Programs in both locations enjoy the close ties and cross-appointments of faculty and new teaching technologies that enhance teaching and learning.

Michael Black, general manager of WEOS and Douglas Reilly, assistant director of the PGE project, collaborated to develop an opportunity for students returning from semesters abroad to investigate, document and reflect on the often vivid experiences of such study. “When students come back after participating in an off-campus program they often face challenges,” noted Reilly. “One of them is that home doesn't feel so familiar, even after a relatively short time abroad. This is called “reverse culture shock, and is often compounded by the returning students’ need to share experiences with friends who, while happy to view a few photos and hear a few stories, don’t share their friends’ enthusiasm.”

Beyond that, Musical Migrations offers a chance for listeners to hear from some of the literally hundreds of students on campus who have had amazing—often life-changing—experiences, and to learn about different places, peoples and cultures. The first few programs will feature mainly music, but over time more interviews and radio journals will be added.

Mary Parkman, producer of the program and a former student in the program to Pietrasanta, Italy, already worked at WEOS and was putting together an internship proposal that included her desire to do an international show. She agreed to produce the show and recruited Ken Pendergast, who has a keen interest in music, to be the host.

WEOS-FM is the Colleges’ non-commercial public radio station, operated by students and volunteers from the Colleges community. WEOS programming features a selection of news, music, sports, public affairs, and other programs of both a local and national interest. A member of National Public Radio (NPR), and Public Radio International (PRI), WEOS also airs modern rock, folk, jazz, world, blues, reggae, rap, R&B, gospel, and Latin music.

Community input is welcome. Listeners who have ideas about programming or who may be able to offer something about a unique form of world music should contact Musical Migrations through Doug Reilly at dreilly@hws.edu.

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