Dr. Craig Woodson: Musician, Educator and Humanitarian

By Patricia Prater, GCAC Marketing Intern

Dr. Craig Woodson brings a wealth of knowledge about world music to his fun-filled performances in which he invites the audience to join in the process of discovery. He has presented assemblies, workshops and play-along concerts to more than 300,000 elementary and high school students over the past 30 years across the United States and in Europe.

Woodson  is a longtime participant in GCAC’s Artist-In-School’s program  which provides direct contact between children and professional artists by coordinating artist workshops in schools and other community locations.  Artists-In-Schools, one of GCAC’s longest running programs, has served hundreds of thousands of people of all ages for the last 30 years.

GCAC: What is Ethnomusicology and how did you get involved with it?

Woodson: Ethnomusicology is the study of world music for “music in context” from gospel choir, folk group music in china, classical Indonesian, African drumming and European music. I was introduced to ethnomusicology while studying at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and quickly became interested in specializing in the program, which was new at the time.

GCAC: How did you get involved with such extensive world travel and sharing your music with children from other cultures?

Woodson: I got involved with working with children as well as adults in different cultures around the world through my humanitarian efforts. I’ve presented programs and workshops at youth centers that explore percussion and drum circles and instrument making. Some of my humanitarian work has included travel to Iraq, Indonesia and working with the Lost Boys of Sudan.

GCAC: Tell me about your trip to Glasgow this month, and what sort of projects do you have planned while you are there?

Woodson: I’ll be a part of Kronos Quartet concert that will take place in Glasgow, Scotland on May 15. In a workshop, I’ll guide young people through instrument building, with materials provided to them the day before the concert. Students will bring their instruments and play along with Kronos on two selections that I’ll be conducting. The students will be invited to ask the quartet a few questions at the end of the program. The expected attendance is 500-700.

GCAC: How and when did you get involved with the Kronos Quartet?

Woodson: I was introduced to David Harrington, founder, director and first violinist with the Kronos Quartet many years ago, beginning a long musical relationship of performing the play-along concerts. Several of these events were sponsored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York public schools and the United Nations International School. I’ve worked with Kronos in presenting these innovative play-along concerts in Germany, England and Denmark.

The Grammy award-winning Kronos Quartet was founded by violinist David Harrington in Seattle in 1973, and is now based in San Francisco. They have performed around the world and worked with popular artists including David Bowie, Tom Waits, the Dave Matthews Band and Nine Inch Nails.

For more information on Dr. Craig Woodson and his latest projects please check out the following links. Or feel free to contact Woodson for further questions about his workshops at woodson.phd@gmail.com.

Ethnomusic, Inc.
Roots of Rhythm
Drums of Humanity (currently under construction - stay tuned!)
Glasgow Life article

Image:  Dr. Craig Woodson (second from the right) with members of the Kronos Quartet.

Image: Cold Cave, courtesy of www.wexarts.org

The 2011 Senior Fine Art Majors Exhibit
Presented by Ohio Wesleyan University, OWU
Through May 8, 2011

FACE2FACE: 25 Years of Art and Community
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Through May 11, 2011

Art in the House Exhibition
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Through June 18, 2011

Rhapsody in Blue Benefit & Concert
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May 6, 2011

Mother May I...
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May 7, 2011

The Camouflage Project
Presented by Ohio State Theatre
May 12, 2011 — May 27, 2011

Music @ The MAC: The Shaw Brothers
Presented by Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington
May 19, 2011

Cold Cave
Presented by Wexner Center for the Arts
May 21, 2011

Dance Uptown
Presented by OSU Dance
May 26, 2011 — May 27, 2011