ASTAZA: Middle East Ensemble at Boston College
ASTAZA, the Middle East Ensemble at Boston College was an initiative of Prof. Ann Lucas (PhD in Ethnomusicology, Assistant Professor at The Department of Music), who directed and encouraged students to interact with the Middle East Music traditions. And since 2013, the ensemble welcomes students and community members to learn this magical music!
In January 2016, Nizar Fares (PhD in Musicology) joined the ensemble as a musical director, adding his taste and expertise as a recording artist. With their musical symbiosis, Astaza participants are investing their talents and time in making the listening experience very unique, where feeling and synergy are nothing if not organic! Furthermore, the ensemble continues to engage minds and souls in an astonishing diversed musical bouquet; Tarah and Folk, Vocal and Instrumental forms, Traditional, Transitional and Contemporary, portraying Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish music and many more…
Promoting intercultural understanding, participants at Astaza enjoy workshops and private lessons with master musicians of the region. No experience necessary, and after an audition, everyone can join the choir or the instrumental ensemble for an unparalleled sharing of experiences, talents and sometimes Middle Estern food! Rehearsals are always on Thursday Evenings, with performances in the winter and the spring.
Astaza program is supported by BC’s Department of Music, Institute for the Liberal Arts, and Office of the Provost. Moreover, students may enroll with the music department for ensemble credit under MUSP166001 (instruments) or MUSP16602 (voice) or within JCS for one unit of regular credit under ICSP1610 (both instruments and voice).