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Symposium Honors Archives of African American Music
(Released: 10/17/00)

By Allison Thompson, Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- On Friday, Oct. 20, the University of Connecticut will celebrate the acquisition of the Samuel and Ann Charters Archives of Blues and Vernacular Music with a daylong symposium. Media are welcome to cover the event.

The collection includes everything from recordings and sheet music to field notes and musicians' contracts. The extensive collection was amassed during Samuel Charters' career as a renowned music historian, author and producer. During much of Samuel Charter's career, which spans more than 50 years, his wife, English Professor Ann Charters, has served as his collaborator.

Friday's celebration begins at 8:30 a.m. with remarks from the Charters. At 9:30 a.m., Horace Boyer, a professor emeritus of music and an expert on gospel music, will discuss gospel's past, present and future. Boyer's talk will be followed by a performance by the Voices of Freedom Gospel Choir at 11 a.m. All the morning's events will take place in the ballroom of Lewis B. Rome Commons, on UConn's South Campus.

The day's events continue with a 1:30 p.m. talk about the art of preservation by Anthony Seeger, a professor of ethnomusicology at the University of California at Los Angeles. At 2:20 p.m., Jeffrey Ogbar, an assistant professor of history at UConn, will discuss rap and hip-hop music. A talk by Samuel Charters follows Ogbar's presentation. The afternoon's events will be held in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center's Konover Auditorium.

At 6:30 p.m., the Charters will deliver a talk and host a reception at Jorgensen Gallery. A concert by blues guitarist Otis Rush, and guitar and harmonica duo John Cephas and Phil Wiggins will follow in Jorgensen Auditorium at 8 p.m.

Friday's symposium is hosted by the Institute for African American Studies with support from the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and the music department.

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