World Music Benefit Concert Featuring Village Marimba and Guests

Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM
Rainbow Community Auditorium
60 State St. Asheville, NC 28806

Join us for a special benefit concert showcasing the various groups of students in Sue Ford’s Village Marimba School programs -both youth and adult- as they perform songs they have been learning, while giving back to the culture whose music has inspired and informed them. Suggested donation $5-$20 per person, collected at the door.

Proceeds from the concert will directly benefit Zimbabwean musician and teacher Barnabas Ngalande, who was one of Sue’s teachers, and provide funds to help pay the tuition for his gifted student, Spiwe Fulutuna of Zimbabwe, to continue her education at a high school that teaches music. 

Barnabas Ngalande is a traditional native Zimbabwean musician and teacher, specializing in the mbira. He teaches in community schools in Zimbabwe and has been to the US a number of times as a guest teacher. Through his work in the schools, he has become the educational sponsor of three orphaned girls who play in his ensemble “Mbirauture” and he ensures they are able to continue their education, especially in music. The students in his ensemble travel throughout Zimbabwe to perform and compete, opening them up to opportunities that would not otherwise be within their reach.

An important component of Sue Ford’s music programs is fostering an appreciation for diverse styles of music from around the world coupled by an attitude of gratitude in action, that gives back to those sources of newly found inspiration. Music is a universal language. As global citizens, it is important that we remember to bring respect and kindness to the conversation. This benefit concert is an opportunity to exercise that principle. 

Guest artists will include River Guerguerian and members of the Asheville Rhythm Ensemble on an array of world percussion instruments.

Fall Session starts on September 10 and lasts for 10 weeks.

Final concert will be on November 12 at the Rainbow Auditorium and will be a benefit concert for Spiwe and Barnbabas, the traditional Shona musicians from Zimbabwe.  The concert will feature World Music from Village Marimba Students and guest artists TBA

Offering Student classes, which meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays:

Level I (beginning) for students in Grades 4 – 9 – 4:00 – 5:00. 

            Level II  (instructor approval required) for students in

Grades 6 -12 - 5:00 – 6:00.

Students are expected to attend all of the classes in the series. Cost $200 for the whole series. Payments for the series can be paid all at once or another arrangement made with the instructor.

Offering Adult classes, which meet once a week:

            Beginner Class will meet on Mondays from 5:00 – 6:00 pm.  

            Cost $100 for the series.

            Experienced Adults will meet on Wednesdays from 5:00 – 6:30.

             Cost $150 for the series.

Students are expected to attend all of the classes in the series.  Payments for the series can be paid all at once or another arrangement made with the instructor.

All instruments and mallets are provided and classes are held in the music room at Rainbow Community Center (the Omega Middle School building). 

If there are financial concerns, please contact me, Sue Ford,,

828-776-7918.  All classes are subject to change according to who signs up.  I must have a minimum of 7 students in each class to make it happen.


Sue CUw_marimba.jpg

Sue Ford, former director of Evergreen’s EMBE Marimba Band, is launching a new venture called Village Marimba.  Sue continues to spread the joy of playing marimba music in a community ensemble.  Classes will be available to students from any school (in Grades 5 - 12)  in Western North Carolina. Village Marimba is a program of Asheville Rhythm, an organization that seeks to create a culture that promotes wellness through rhythm and bridges musical traditions through innovative collaborations.

In Village Marimba Classes Students will:

  • Learn a repertoire based on the group’s interest, including popular songs, multicultural songs and original music.

  • Work on proper mallet/stick technique, which is also applicable to other percussion instruments.

  • Have fun making music with other young people and their friends.

  • Work toward a big performance at the end of the session.

Please contact Sue Ford about which class would be best for you or your child:

All classes will be held at Rainbow Community Center, 60 State Street in West Asheville

For more information contact Sue Ford -,  828-776-7918

Testimonials from parents of Sue Ford’s former students:

 “My son has had such a wonderful experience in marimba. It gave him the freedom and confidence not only to play but to compose music as well. It was a refuge and Sue’s gentle leadership was a blessing.” (B)

“For our son, a young person with social challenges yet who possesses natural musical ability, Marimba Band is a positive experience that provides an outlet for musical expression, collaboration and building friendships. The discipline of learning marimba repertoire and the interdependence of the instruments comes together in joyful performances that showcase the young musicians' dynamic teamwork. Sue Ford is magical and young musicians respond to her relaxed way of teaching, as well as her ability to treat them as mature, responsible young people. " (MA)

“My daughter has gained knowledge of rhythm, beats, cultures, and musicality in a format that is fun, engaging, and authentic. She has loved being with Ms. Sue and playing in a band with her friends. It has been a priceless opportunity that I feel she has been blessed to experience.” (HT)

“I truly feel that marimba has changed my son’s life. I tell people it was the first thing that he could work at and really see steady improvement in his life. His severe dyslexia has always made school an exercise in frustration despite his obvious intelligence. And sports have always come somewhat easily. But marimba was a challenge that he could stretch into and achieve a dream/goal. “ (MB)

 Evergreen's embe marimba band played at many venues in asheville including the Evergreen book fair at barnes and noble every year

Evergreen's embe marimba band played at many venues in asheville including the Evergreen book fair at barnes and noble every year

EMBE performed a cd release concert - diana wortham theater

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