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Percussionist Bernard WomaWorld famous percussionist visits RJK

February 14, 2013

The students of the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School were treated to a very special performance from Bernard Woma, world famous percussionist, on Thursday, February 7.

Woma educated the children about how his instrument, a gyil, is made. After a 40 minute performance by Bernard and his dance troupe, the students were excited to join them on the stage to dance.

Bernard Woma is from the Gbanne Clan of the Dagara people. He was born in the village of Hiineteng, located in Northwestern Ghana, near the border with Burkina Faso. His father noticed that as a newborn, Bernard's hands were The Saakumu Dance Troupeclenched in fists, as if he was clutching xylophone mallets. His father consulted with a village elder who informed him that Bernard's hands indicated that he was destined to become a xylophone player. His father purchased a pair of xylophones for his infant son. Consequently, Bernard began playing the gyil when he was two years old.

Top photo: Bernard Woma singing one of his tribal songs as he plays his gyil, an instrument made from wood, string and gourds.

Bottom photo: The Saakumu Dance Troupe dances to the African music played by Bernard Woma.