News Items from UNC Greensboro

Atiba Rorie plays West African drums at the 2022 NC Folk Festival.
Atiba Rorie plays West African drums at the 2022 NC Folk Festival.

UNC Greensboro has raised up many stars in music and dance. Some of the artists who nurtured their talent on campus came to Greensboro for the 2022 NC Folk Festival.

They played through both rain and sunshine and into the night, entertaining those who braved Saturday’s showers to sit at the various stages set up downtown.

Dance Music Coordinator Atiba Rorie with the College of Visual and Performing Arts led an African Drum Workshop. He played the West African drums from the Mandingue empire known as the djembe and the dunduns.

“These drums are lots of fun to play and dance to,” says Rorie. “They also have a very rich and long history associated with each rhythm that is played.”

UNCG students performed in a band formed by former student Anna Vtipil, after winning this year’s “Not Your Average Folk” contest. Other faculty represented the University through the Old-Time Ensemble. Alumni made their voices heard with the Zinc Kings and Big Bang Boom.

Every year, the NC Folk Festival is an opportunity to hear many different musical styles — including traditional Irish, bluegrass, New Orleans jazz, and Jewish Klezmer — played on instruments such as the mandolin and the pedal steel guitar. Dancers performed Latin salsa, traditional Korean, and hip-hop.

Rorie has attended the Folk Festival before becoming one of the performers. He hopes this year’s visitors left with a deeper appreciation for the variety of music. “Folk music is meaningful to me because it represents the roots,” he says. “Everything starts from the root. It is important that people understand where things came from to get to what we have now.”

Story by Janet Imrick, University Communications
Photography by Bert VanderVeen on behalf of UNC Greensboro; Kimberly Osbourne, University Communications; and Michael Ream, University Communications

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