Valerie Naranjo presented a clinic at Baldwin-Wallace College.The music students relished this opportunity to witness her virtuosic performances and unique outlook on the world of contemporary percussion and traditional Ghanaian music. The audience was treated to performances of several traditional West African pieces as well as arrangements of that repertoire for Western percussion instruments. Not only were Valerie's performances amazing, but her original use of a variety of "modern" sounds (marimba, crotales, cymbals, drums) in a folkloric music context inspired the audience to seek new sources of musical inspiration. In short, Valerie is a brilliant model of "thinking outside the box."
Valerie also discussed her musical career path, a topic to which the music students paid close attention. Her inspiring yet practical advice makes her a rare mentor of musicians and someone whom I hope will return to our campus in the future. As the music profession continues to change and the boundaries between repertories continue to blur, having access to a clinician like Valerie Naranjo is vital for any musician.