Discovering Diverse Talent

BY ELYSE PAUL ’20

Nobuntu

The Moreau Center for the Arts has been a home for the performing and visual arts for over 50 years. Offering a selection of live theatre, concerts, recitals, and lectures each year, Moreau has brought a variety of artists to campus through the Shaheen/Duggan Performing Arts Series, including Duke Ellington, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Maria von Trapp, George Winston, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. The Shaheen/Duggan Performing Arts Series was endowed to Saint Mary’s in 1987 as a way for students to meet and learn from rising talent. The endowed series continues to bring talent to campus each year for students and the Saint Mary’s community alike. 

On October 24, 2022, The Shaheen/Duggan Performing Arts Series will welcome Nobuntu to campus for its second time, having performed on campus back in 2018. Nobuntu, a female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro Jazz to Gospel. The ensemble’s concerts are performed with pure voices, augmented by minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as the Mbira (thumb piano) and organic, authentic dance movements. Their program at Saint Mary’s will feature traditional songs and original arrangements. The Saint Mary’s community is especially excited to welcome Nobuntu to campus to directly interact with students after the pandemic limited opportunities with guest artists.

The word Nobuntu is an African concept that values humbleness, love, unity, and family from a woman’s perspective. The ensemble represents a new generation of young African women singers who celebrate and preserve their culture, beauty, and heritage through art. The ensemble’s mission is the belief that music can be an important vehicle for change, one that transcends racial, tribal, religious, gender, and economic boundaries. Nobuntu drew a crowd for an excellent performance at Saint Mary’s back in 2018. After the success of that performance, Saint Mary’s is excited to have the group back to showcase their artistry and represent the diversity of talent the arts can offer to students.

Prior to their performance in O’Laughlin Auditorium, Nobuntu will lead a masterclass with  students from the College’s music department. This educational opportunity is a valuable part of the Shaheen/Duggan Performing Arts Series, and showcases the support it provides students and the community to discover a diverse range of rising talent in the arts.

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