Nile Project visit to campus includes March 13 performance, panel discussion

Representatives of The Nile Project will give performances and take part in a panel discussion and other activities while in the area. (Photo by Habris Girgis)

The Nile Project, a cross-cultural collaboration that uses music to connect residents living along Africa’s legendary Nile in efforts to cultivate the sustainability of the river, will visit Western Carolina University for a performance and to take part in other activities Monday, March 13, and Tuesday, March 14.

WCU is joining with other universities across North Carolina in bringing The Nile Project’s music from 11 countries to the state for a series of musical celebrations. The ensemble’s performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. March 13 at WCU’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

During the group’s shows, instruments originating from the Nile’s sources in East Africa and Ethiopia to the deltas in Sudan and Egypt come together to create new musical styles, supporting vocals in more than 10 languages. The Nile Project has been described by The New York Times as “a committed, euphoric international coalition” and National Public Radio named the group’s debut recording one of five “must-hear international albums.”

Tickets for the performance at the Bardo Arts Center are $8 for students, $20 for WCU faculty and staff, and $24 for the general public. Tickets are available at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu, by calling the box office at 828-227-2479 or by visiting the box office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or one hour prior to each performance.

The Nile Project’s musicians also will be involved in a discussion focusing on “The Nile and African Identity” and take part in a musical demonstration from 10 to 11 a.m. on March 13 at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, located at 112 Virginia Ave. in Waynesville. That event is free for students and $5 for all others.

Mina Girgis, founder of The Nile Project, will participate in a panel discussion about “Music, Citizen Engagement and Water Resource Management” from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on March 13. Other panelists taking part in the free public discussion in Room 130 of the Bardo Arts Center will include Lane Perry, director of WCU’s Center for Service Learning; Roger Clapp, executive director of the Watershed Association of the Tuckaseigee River; Robert J. “Trip” Krenz, WCU assistant professor of natural resource conservation and management; and Lauren Bishop, director of sustainability and energy management at WCU. The moderator will be Denise Drury Homewood, executive director of the Bardo Arts Center.

During their visit, The Nile Project’s musicians also will present a matinee performance for local school children at 10 a.m. March 14 at the Bardo Arts Center.

For more information about the group’s performances and visit at WCU, contact Jill Jacobs, Bardo Arts Center marketing manager, at 828-227-2505 or jilljacobs@wcu.edu.