Latest News, WVU News

WVU World Music event honors late founder Phil Faini

The West Virginia University World Music Program invites the community to enjoy an evening of music, food and celebration.

This semester’s ensembles will perform in a two-hour marquee event Friday at the Canady Creative Arts Center. Attendees can choose to start in the Davis Theatre at 6 p.m. or the Blaney Lobby at 7 p.m.

General admission to the marquee is $10, with child and senior tickets available for $5.

The 6 p.m. group will begin with performances from the African Music and Dance Ensemble and steel bands. They will then head to the lobby for Brazilian-themed refreshments and music from the program’s Brazilian Ensemble with special guests, Jazz Ensemble 2 (JE2), directed by Dr. Robert Sears. The 7 p.m. group will begin with JE2, the Brazilian Ensemble and refreshments before completing their night with the other ensembles in the Davis Theatre.

Program director Dr. Michael Vercelli said the marquee format is better suited to these performances than a traditional sit-down concert.

“The world music ensembles are a less formal musical experience than some of the other concerts we offer at WVU. We value audience participation, and the marquee event allows a greater interaction between the performance and audience members,” Vercelli said.

This year’s event is dedicated to WVU World Music Performance Center founder Phil Faini, who died last June. In his honor, the African Music and Dance Ensemble will use the royal akadinda, a Ugandan xylophone, that the dean emeritus personally brought from the country to WVU in the 1970s. The steel bands will play selections from “West Side Story,” which Faini frequently used with his percussion ensembles.

The performances carry on Faini’s legacy of connecting Morgantown to other cultures through music.

“WVU is a global university. We have students and faculty from all around the world on campus. The music and cultures represented in the world music concert showcase this diversity and help to bridge Morgantown audiences to the world,” Vercelli said.

The World Music event is part of the College of Creative Arts’ Curiosity Series. To purchase tickets for this and other performances, visit For more information on the World Music Program, visit