Message from the CWM’s Past President, Lewis Peterman

Lewis Peterman

Lewis “Pete” Peterman

It has been my distinct honor to serve the Center for World Music as its president for the past 10 years. And now, as its immediate past president, I wish to extend a warm welcome to our new president Tim Rice. It is for me a great pleasure to pass the mantle and leave the leadership of the CWM’s growing programs into the very capable hands of such a distinguished and highly regarded ethnomusicologist.

During my term as president, the Center hosted numerous distinguished teaching artists from abroad: Africa (Guinea, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, & Zimbabwe), Europe (Finland, Ireland, & the Balkans), Asia (India & Indonesia), Latin America (Mexico & Peru), and the Caribbean (Trinidad & the Cayman Islands). In addition, the Center produced intensive two-week hands-on performing arts (traditional music, dance, and puppetry) workshops abroad in Asia (Bali & China), Africa (Ghana), and Latin America (Peru & Mexico). In addition, the Center provided rich opportunities for local teaching artists and local performing ensembles, provided financial and personal support for local universities and community colleges, developed innovative cultural tourism programs abroad for San Diegans (in Asia, Africa, and Latin America), received federal and state grants to support San Diego performing arts programs (for example, from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council), and grew its unique World Music in the Schools program which promotes awareness, skills, and knowledge of the rich performing arts traditions of the world through weekly hands-on classes and periodic assemblies in K–12 San Diego schools.

At its “Flower Mountain” two-acre retreat in Bali during my presidency, the CWM hosted groups of students of the performing arts from UCLA, the California Institute of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Gettysburg College, St. Mary’s College, Warren Wilson College, the National University of Singapore, and San Diego State University. Also participating in Center-sponsored events at Flower Mountain were a group of K-12 classroom teachers from Seattle, a group of Zimbabwean mbira players from New Zealand and Japan, and an undergraduate drama group from Hartwick College in upstate New York.

One year in particular, the Center sponsored 70+ concerts, reached 10,000 K-12 San Diego students through its World Music in the Schools program (with 30 teaching artists and 20 ensembles-in-residence), produced a 17-day Zimbabwe Music and Dance Celebration, produced a 2nd Annual San Diego Indonesian Gamelan Festival, produced and hosted a College Music Society world music workshop for American university music professors, organized a 10-city national Indian Odissi Dance tour, and continued offering its local workshops (son jarocho, Balinese gamelan, Odissi dance) and its study abroad workshops in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

As the past president and a continuing board member of the CWM, I look forward enthusiastically to providing continuing advice and assistance as the new leadership works to strengthen and expand the CWM’s programs, both in San Diego and abroad.

–Lewis Peterman, Past President, Center for World Music