World Music

For students looking to experience music beyond their current horizons - or participate in something familiar from home - several world music ensembles are available. Select the ensemble below to learn more.

Korean Percussion Ensemble Hanculchida

Director: Donna Kwon | Course No. MUC 173-003
Rehearsal Schedule: Meets TR 11- 12:15. One credit hour

UK Korean Percussion Ensemble Hanulchida (“Drum the Sky”)

This ensemble features the following Korean percussion instruments: the hourglass-shaped changgo, the puk barrel drum, the large jing gong and the small hand-held gong called the swe. We play both the rural-based p’ungmul genre as well as the more virtuosic samulnori style. Offered in the spring semester and directed by Dr. Donna Kwon,


Zimbabwean Shona Mbira Dzavadzimu Ensemble

This ensemble features the Shona Mbira plucked lamellophones and hosho shakers from Zimbabwe. Small group lessons are offered in the mbira by Dr. Donna Kwon in the Fall. Directed by emeritus professor Dr. Thomas Turino.

Balinese Gamelan Angklung Langen Kerti

Director: Donna Kwon,

"Follow Your Bliss"

This gamelan ensemble features the 4-pitched gamelan angklung from Bali and includes various large and medium bronze gongs, keyed xylophones of various sizes, drums, suling flutes and other percussion instruments like the distinctive turtle-shaped ceng ceng. Balinese gamelan is known for its shimmering, metallic sound and fast interlocking patterns called kotekan. This Balinese gamelan angklung set was purchased in 2016 and was given the name “Langen Kerti” in a special naming ceremony in 2017 by master artist Pak Made Lasmawan. The expression “langen kerti” means to enjoy the activities of a happy life or to “follow your bliss.” The ensemble is offered every Fall and beginners and more advanced are all welcome.

Old-Time and Bluegrass String

Director: Revell Carr

This ensemble features string band instruments such as the banjo, violin, bass, guitar and mandolin. Repertoire is chosen from the old-time and bluegrass genres. Students should have a basic knowledge of how to play at least one of the above instruments but they can be new to these genres.

Steel Band

The University of Kentucky Steel Band, directed by Professor James Campbell, was formed in 1992 as part of the Percussion Studies Program in the School of Music. The UK Steel Band annually performs for over 5,000 elementary and secondary school students with their acclaimed program, Drums: West Africa to Trinidad.

The UK Steel Band presents this exciting school program that engages, educates, and enlightens students, faculty, and parents. Your school will follow a historical time-line that traces the roots of Afro-Caribbean music and society from West Africa to the New World. Much more than an exciting concert, this complete program emphasizes the nature of communication by allowing students to gather information through listening, participating, observing, and visualizing.

Often hailed as “…the best school assembly we’ve ever seen!”

Drums: Africa to Trinidad allows students to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of, appreciation for, and sensitivity to a multi-cultural and global view.
  • Experience and participate in a “Call and response” musical demonstration.
  • Appreciate cultural differences and the value of the arts.
  • Recognize continuity and change in historical events.

Bring the UK Steel Band to your school. We offer a 55-minute school assembly program that will inspire your students and staff. The UK Steel Band also offers an expanded evening program for families, churches, and communities. Looking for entertainment for that special event? Inquire about the intimate, festive sounds of Blue Steel, our small group.

For information regarding bookings and fees contact James Campbell, 859-257-8187,

Created 07/22/2021
Last Updated 07/22/2021