As part of SRU’s reputation for encouraging diversity, students were able to experience and learn about new cultures with the help of “Women of the World,” a musical quartet invited to perform by SRU’s Green & White Society. This event was the first to be showcased as part of the Performing Art series for the Fall 2016 semester.
The quartet sat down with the Slippery Rock community in room 205 of the University Union at 6:15 on Saturday night, and before long, almost all the seats in the room were filled, with students and residential citizens alike eager to know about the peace and shimmering message that these ladies love to tell. Each woman is from a very different background and heritage, specifically of Japanese, Italian, Indian and Haitian descent.
As of today, the group has been together for four years. Undoubtedly, each of the performers describes their time together as the “best four years of our lives.” Since they’ve been a group, they’ve traveled all over the globe to spread their message, which they highly emphasize is “to celebrate the cultural differences around the world while spreading the joy of music.”
From a generic standpoint, one could assume that anyone who can sing would easily be able to assimilate into their quartet, but the performers made a point to note that they have quite a bit to consider when it comes to a performance, first beginning with their song choice. While there are millions of songs to be heard in the world for entertainment, only certain songs are going to be performed at the specified venue, and those songs depend on what’s culturally appropriate and what message the women want to tell with that song.
However, don’t let their particularity fool you: these women are not genre-specific, and they encompass many different genres that music is home to today, within their capabilities. In addition to their versatile genre vocal range, singing a certain song in a foreign language is also something these women have perfected over their time together while claiming at first it’s no easy task.
Regardless of their multicultural assembly, breaking language barriers is challenging, let alone doing so in such an angelic tone. Regardless, any foreignness in music choice is not so foreign for long. No matter of what language the song is sung in, they are each given the necessary information to be able to perform said song, even if none of the performers actually speak the language that the song was originally written in. Instead, it comes back to the common idea of “cultural learning,” an idea that has evolved into an ongoing process of our lives into which we can always be inspired and learn more from people who are different from us.
After having completed their performance here at Slippery Rock University, the “Women of the World” headed off to their next destination, leaving the university overjoyed with their magnificent show and unbreakable message to staff, students and the community as a whole.