World Music Ensembles

The World Music Ensembles program at the University of Toronto has for many years enriched the musical lives of our students and has provided alternative perspectives on learning and making music by offering training in various world traditions. The ensembles vary from year to year. We have also in the past been able to take advantage of an ensemble led by our an annual visitor in the World Music Artist-in-Residence program. We hope to do so again in the future.

Undergraduate students can sign up for these courses under the course codes WME264/364, 268/368, etc.

Graduate Students may take one half-credit (0.5) in World Music Ensembles towards their degree under the course number MUS4608H. To complete the credit, students must enrol and participate satisfactorily in two ensembles (taken either concurrently or in different terms) and must complete an associated analytical assignment. Students seeking this credit will consult with a member of the ethnomusicology faculty to establish the nature of the analytical assignment and a timeline for its completion.

WME Concerts

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, public events have been cancelled until further notice.

Our WME Directors

Currently, Taiko and Klezmer ensembles are running in person, with scaled-down participation. The Gospel group is meeting virtually. Further updates will be given in due course.

Darren Hamilton (Gospel)
Darren is a musician, vocalist, arranger,  songwriter, music educator, workshop clinician and music consultant whose musical journey encompasses a wide range of experiences in community and educational settings. Darren’s website.

Brian Katz (Klezmer)
Brian Katz is a guitarist, composer and educator. He teaches a variety of courses in the Faculty of Music, ranging from Dalcroze Eurhythmics to jazz guitar to Klezmer. Website for Brian Katz.

Gary Kiyoshi Nagata (Taiko)
Gary Nagata is Canada’s pre-eminent Takio drummer and founder and director of Nagata Shachu. He trained with Daihachi Oguchi and also apprenticed with Kodo. Website for Nagata Shachu.

F. Kwasi Dunyo (W. African Drumming & Dance)
Kwasi Dunyo is a master Ewe drummer from Ghana, West Africa. Over the past 20 years he has taught extensively in universities and schools in Canada and the USA. Kwasi Dunyo’s website.

Alan Hetherington (Brazilian)
Alan spent extensive periods of time in Brazil performing with Sombra e Agua Fresca, Bell Brasil, Carlos do Cavaco, Chocolatte da Vila Maria and Filó Machado. He has been a devotee of the samba school tradition of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, performing with some of the largest and most exciting percussion ensembles (baterias) on the planet. Check out this website.

Joe Cullen (Steel Pan)
Joe Cullen is a music educator, percussionist and arranger. He has extensive experience teaching steel pan at all levels in the Toronto area. Joe Cullen’s website.