Bradley County hears world's music

Bradley County hears world's music

October 27th, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

Todd Green plays instruments from all over the world Tuesday for students at Tennessee Christian Preparatory School.

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.


What: World music concert

Where: Bradley Central Fine Arts Center

When: 7 p.m.Tuesday

Cost: Tickets for the general public are $10; they're free to Community Concert Association season ticket holders.

Source: Cleveland/Bradley Community Concert Association

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Children here have been taking musical trips around the world.

Next Tuesday, so can adults.

Todd Green, an expert in world music, brought 20-plus instruments to Tennessee Christian Preparatory School on Wednesday. Green has been visiting and teaching at local schools the past two weeks, and his local tour will culminate Tuesday in a public concert at Bradley Central High School's new Fine Arts Center.

Tennessee Christian's kids experienced unfamiliar sounds played on unfamiliar instruments that also seemed oddly familiar.

"I've never seen so many different kinds before," third-grader Evan Locke said.

The audience followed the ancient Middle Eastern oud through time as it became Europe's lute and then the guitar. Green played them all, African and Oriental versions, too.

The biggest gasp from the audience may have been when Green showed a South American rattle made from "animals' toenails."

"I liked the pipa best," said third-grader Elisa Alvarado.

Green played the pipa, a Chinese, lutelike instrument with a 2,000-year history, and told students "everyone who knows these instruments agrees this is the hardest one to play."

The kids had lots of questions.

He answered that he was inspired as a child by The Beatles. If he could choose only one instrument, his guitar would be the one he kept, he said. And while Green travels the world to learn more, most of the best players of the world's instruments are in the United States, he said.

Green's local tour is funded through grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Arts Build Communities program, the Cleveland/Bradley Community Concert Association and the Allied Arts Council of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce through its annual Chair-ees Jubilee fundraiser.

Allied Arts' Arts and Education Committee brings a variety of artistic performances and learning to local schools each year, committee chairwoman Wendy Benton said.