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Waimea Country School students dance, drum to the beat

November 6, 2017 - 12:25am

WAIMEA — “How did you score these guys?”

That was overheard Oct. 27, as the students of Waimea Country School (WCS) performed African dancing and drumming with guest artists Michal Anna Carrillo, Gabriel Fara Tolno, Sekou Fofana and Michael Mestas.

The show was part of the school’s silent auction fundraiser for student financial aid during North Hawaii Rotary’s Oktoberfest at Pukalani Stables in Waimea.

“We felt it was a great venue to showcase the work our students have been doing with these amazing artists,” Amy Salling said, head of school at WCS. “And it provides an opportunity for us to show the value of arts in education. Arts are not just for enrichment; artistic expression is central to our experience as human beings.”

While West African drumming and dancing isn’t typical entertainment at a traditional Oktoberfest event, Waimea isn’t a typical community. High caliber artists from around the world come here, whether through Camp Merveiles in Kohala, the Kahilu Theatre or other venues.

Carrillo, of LavaRoots Performing Arts, worked with Waimea Country School students for six weeks. When Tolno and Fofana, master drummers from Guinea West Africa, arrived they joined the students for the community performance at the fundraiser.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for our children,” Jill Henderson said, a parent of three WCS students. “This is what our school is all about.”

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