pexels caleb oquendo 2927080Music is often referred to as the universal language. Every culture across the world has a musical tradition all its own.

This international quality of music was something Fayetteville State University piano professor Dr. Amanda Virelles had a vision to celebrate in our own community, where so many different countries are represented.

Dr. Virelles was inspired by Fayetteville’s annual International Folk Festival and the celebration of rich traditions of culture in all its forms that it brought together. She began to imagine a similar festival that focused on music.

In 2023 FSU, with grant funding from the Arts Council of Fayetteville-Cumberland County, hosted a multi-day, multi-venue festival. In April of 2024, the 2nd Annual International Music Festival will bring together a variety of musicians to share the musical traditions of their countries of origin.

The festival will kick off on April 4 at 11 a.m. at Seabrook Auditorium on FSU’s campus, with a concert presented by FSU music faculty. The concert will include music by international and American composers. Following the Opening Concert, April 4-7 will be filled with concerts and events aimed at sharing music from around the world.

The festival will host several concerts at the Cumberland County Library Headquarters and in The Arts Council Gallery on Hay Street. Slated to perform are musicians originally from Uruguay, Cuba, Venezuela, Columbia, Czech Republic, Brazil, Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Argentina and Peru.

In addition to the concerts, there is an International Faculty/Student Fair on April 5 at 10 a.m. in the Randolph Jones Student Center at FSU, which will feature displays, performances and demonstrations for guests to explore. It will be an interactive and educational event.

In addition to the benefits of cultural celebration for the entire community, this festival also presents a unique learning opportunity for FSU music students.

As Dr. Virelles explains, the opportunity to travel to another country to learn music is a valuable one, but one that is not available to all students. This festival is an opportunity to “bring the work [of artists from around the world] to the students.”

Students will not only listen to the artists perform but will have the chance to learn from them directly. After the Faculty/Student Fair on April 5, there will be lectures and masterclasses presented by many of the featured performers.

Students will not only have the chance to be exposed to a variety of music but to learn directly from those musicians.

The Festival is made possible by funding from The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and the work of a committee comprised of FSU faculty, staff, and students: Amanda Virelles, Jerrita Waters, Joseph Spearman, Sondra Martin, Jeremy Fiebig, Deborah Vazquez, Shawn McNeill, Zahra Shekarkhar, Shane Booth, and Brittany Fuller.

Anyone in the community is invited to attend the events of the International Music Festival, and many events are free of charge. See below for a full breakdown of events, locations, and prices:

April 4:

11 a.m. Opening Concert-FSU Music Faculty at Seabrook Auditorium, FSU $10
4 p.m.-Duo Guitiano & Friends at Seabrook Auditorium, FSU FREE
7 p.m.-Carlos Feller, flute; Mary Chung, piano at Seabrook Auditorium, FSU FREE

April 5:

10 a.m.-International Faculty/Student Fair at Rudolph Jones Student Center, FSU FREE
4 p.m.-Julian Croatto, guitar; Alma Coefman, flute at Arts Council Gallery FREE
7 p.m.-Milan Rericha, clarinet; Kristina Henckel, piano at Seabrook Auditorium, FSU $10

April 6:

11 a.m.-Gonzalo Aguilar, piano; Rodrigo Quintana, violin at Cumberland County Library Headquarters FREE
4 p.m.-Marcos Machado, double bass at Cumberland County Library Headquarters FREE
7 p.m.-Night at the Opera Theatre at Seabrook Auditorium, FSU $10

April 7:

5 p.m.-Festival Closing Concert featuring Cuban opera star Eglise Gutierrez at Seabrook Auditorium, FSU $10


To purchase tickets, visit the following site:

All events are free to Fayetteville State University students.

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