J. S. Kofi Gbolonyo
Director, UBC African Music and Dance
Dip Ed (Winneba, Gh.), BA (Legon, Gh.), PhD & MA (Pittsburgh)
Dr. Kofi J. S. Gbolonyo joined the UBC School of Music as a Visiting Assistant Professor in September 2009, soon after completing his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology with a Graduate Certificate in African Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Since joining the UBC faculty, he has been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Ethnomusicology and the UBC African Studies Minor Program, and directing the UBC African Music and Dance Ensemble.
Kofi Gbolonyo is a scholar, educator, and performer whose primary research, expertise, and educational interests are in West African traditional music and dance, Ewe indigenous knowledge, language and culture, Orff-Schulwerk pedagogy, multicultural music education, Ghanaian brass band and choral music. His scholarship focuses on indigenous knowledge and cultural values in the musical practices of the Ewe and Fon of West Africa.
Outside of UBC and scholarship, Gbolonyo enjoys teaching children and is the founder/director of the Nunya Music Academy and the Ghana School Project. He also co-founded and directs Adanu Habobo and the Orff-Afrique Summer Programs in Ghana. He is a teaching staff of the World Music Drumming Workshops Ltd.
Gbolonyo is an internationally recognized Orff-Schulwerk music educator and a seasoned clinician who conducts workshops and gives presentations all over the world. He is an advocate of multicultural music education and has taught at different levels of education in Ghana, other countries in West Africa, Europe, South America, East and Southeast Asia, the United States and Canada. He performs regularly and presents workshops and scholarly papers at annual meetings of many professional associations.
Gbolonyo holds a Ph.D. (2009) and an MA (2005) in Ethnomusicology and a Graduate Certificate in African Studies (2009) at the doctoral level from the University of Pittsburgh; an Orff-Schulwerk Certificate Level III (2008) from San Francisco International Orff Course; a BA (Hons. 2002) in Linguistics and Music from the University of Ghana, Legon; a Professional Dip.Ed (1997) in Ewe Language and Music Education from the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana; and a Professional Teacher’s Certificate A (1990) from E.P. College of Education, Amedzofe, Ghana.
Prior to his appointment at the University of British Columbia, Gbolonyo was the director of the University of Pittsburgh African Music and Dance Ensemble (2005-2009); and a Teaching Fellow (2005-2009) at the Department of Music, University of Pittsburgh while pursuing his master’s and doctoral studies. He served as a production assistant at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, worked with Abibigromma (the resident theater company of the university from 2002-2003), and was the student director of the University of Ghana’s African Brass Ensemble (1999-2001).