ExpiredMary Ellen Junda – Broadside Ballads: Social Consciousness in Song

  • November 5, 2016
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm

In this exciting and interactive workshop, we will explore the intricacies of song composition and social consciousness drawn from past events that reflect the effects of social, political and cultural change through the presentation of her “ballad project.” This presentation and project shows students of all ages to the power of song as a vehicle for responding to events or conditions that are infused with strong feelings and opinions through  collaboration to achieve artistic goals, the role of music as an expression of social justice and social consciousness, intricacies of the relationship between melody and lyrics, and use of visuals to enhance the performance experience and power of song as voices are joined together with a common purpose.

Dr. Junda will share her process in detail from the preparatory activities through the creation of the final compositions and broadsides. Participants will work in groups to experience firsthand how the song-writing process develops, evolves and is shared. Those attending should bring computers, tablets, guitars and accompanying instruments to be fully immersed in this artistic collaborative creative process!

About the Clinician:

Mary Ellen Junda is the Professor of Music at the University of Connecticut and conductor for the UCONN Women’s Choir. She has developed new general education courses and ensembles that focus on teaching about social justice and global cultures through song. She also directs the group Earthtones, a world music vocal ensemble, and has created inspiring multimedia performances on the music of Trinidad and Tobago, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and the Gullah; the Irish-American experience will be featured this year.

Dr. Junda is co-director with Dr. Robert Stephens for their Landmarks in American History and Culture Program, Gullah Voices:  Traditions and Transformations, awarded $580,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Gullah Voices has brought teachers from throughout the nation to study Gullah art, music and culture in Savannah, GA. Recent articles on pedagogy are featured in General Music Today and the College Music Symposium and on the Gullah and African American music with co-author Dr. Stephens in the International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies and a chapter in Songs of Social Protest (in press). Recent conference presentations include the College Music Society National Conference; International Symposium for Singing, Newfoundland, Canada; Songs of Social Protest, Limerick, Ireland; and Protest Songs and Social Justice, Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Junda was awarded the Howard Foundation Fellowship in Music Performance from Brown University in recognition of her exemplary choral conducting and has conducted the OAKE National Choir and festival choirs throughout the Northeast. She is past director of The Main Street Singers and Treblemakers Children’s Choir. Her three Singing with Treblemakers recordings have received national awards and are recognized globally as a model for children’s singing voices.

Event Location


200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, US, 06117

Berkman Recital Hall on the Hartt School campus at the University of Hartford.

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