3D Journeys ends year with Brazilian beat
Dan McAlexander the college president will become Dan McAlexander the music lecturer when he serves as the final speaker for this year's 3D Journeys series at 10 a.m. April 22 in Dickson Assembly Room.
McAlexander's topic will be Brazilian inspired music. He is no stranger to the art form, having earned degrees in piano performance from the University of Kansas, The Juilliard School and the University of Cincinnati.
"I haven't been a musician for 12 years, so I'm a little rusty," he said with a laugh. "It's been good for me to get back into that world, if just for a little while."
A special feature of the April 22 event will be the announcement of next year's 3D Journey's topics and destinations.
For his talk, McAlexander said he will be building on what Dr. Lisa Crutchfield, Assistant Professor of History, discussed about the history and diversity of Brazil in an earlier lecture.
"The music of Brazil is as diverse as the country's people and culture," he said. "Its development is an expression of the European immigrant, African slave and indigenous cultures."
That cultural intermingling expands to an unusual variety of instruments, from the Cuica drum to berimbau, a strange stringed instrument that is used for the capoeira (a Brazilian martial art that combines dance and music).
"Music is the central part of Brazilian culture," McAlexander said. "It has a presence everywhere, extending to the pageantry of Carnival, where it is the main element. People of all classes and socioeconomic status come together for that celebration."
Some of Brazil's more popular musical forms like the samba and the bossa nova are known around the world. "The Girl from Impanema" is a classic example of a Brazilian tune becoming an international hit.
McAlexander also will be examining the works of classical musicians such as Heiter Villa Lobos and the music of Bahia, featuring the capoeira and its intensively athletic dances.
He said he has enjoyed doing the research for his presentation to share with the 3D group.
"I'm dipping back into my former life to become a fellow traveler with the participants of 3D Journeys, and it's been fun."
A Dutch-treat lunch, with Brazilian options, will be available in Pitts Dining Hall following the session.
Parking is in the Vernon Street lots, near the pedestrian bridge, with a tent for shelter and shuttle service to the door.
For information, call (706) 880-8244 or email 3DJourneys@lagrange.edu.