History, Ethno & New Music

Sidra Lawrence, director

The BGSU Afro-Caribbean Ensemble performs traditional songs, percussion music and dance from sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. During the academic year, performances are given on campus and in neighboring communities. Enrollment is open to all students.


Arne Spohr, director (Guido’s Band)

The Early Music Ensemble performs music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque periods. The ensemble is made up of undergraduate and graduate students in music and occasionally students from other programs. The vocal ensemble consists of 10–15 auditioned singers; the instrumental ensemble (Guido’s Band) is open to anyone proficient in a modern instrument who wants to learn the early instruments (recorder, lute, viola da gamba, Renaissance fiddle, cornetto, crumhorn). The group performs regularly on campus and at schools and community concerts in northwest Ohio.


Allison Eckardt Merrill, director

Taiko is a form of Japanese Ensemble drumming that has become popular across Japan, then United States, and around the world.  Students will perform in the ensemble, learning multiple pieces and performing in World Percussion Night.  Music is learned aurally, so music reading ability is not necessary, but you should be ready for lots of physical movements.

Kurt Doles, director

Kusuma Sari (Inner Flower) is the gamelan gong kebyar orchestra from Bali, Indonesia, housed at the College. Consisting largely of gongs and metallophones, the gamelan performs the dynamic traditional music of Bali as well as modern compositions by American and Balinese composers. Kusuma Sari is directed by Kurt Doles and presents biannual concerts, performs at community events, and occasionally goes on tour. Enrollment is open to all students.

Christopher Dietz, director

The New Music Ensemble presents the works of our time in several concerts each year. Besides the traditional repertoire, the ensemble also focuses on improvisation and collaboration with artists from other disciplines.

Robert Desmond, director

Composed of undergraduate and graduate students, the new Steel Drum Ensembles (founded in 2007) perform music ranging from traditional Caribbean tunes to modern jazz arrangements. Students learn instruments ranging from bass pan up to lead tenor as well as “engine room” percussion—drum set, timbales, congas, shakers, etc. Steel Drum Ensembles are open to all students.