Penn State Laureate Velvet Brown to come to Great Valley

MALVERN, Pa. — Penn State Great Valley will host 2022-23 Penn State Laureate Velvet Brown for “MOJATUBA: Tuba and Dance Fusion” on Thursday, March 16, at 7 p.m. The event is free to attend, but advance registration is required.

The performance showcases a unique ensemble, which features on the performance stage the artistic and interdisciplinary collaboration between solo tuba, dancers, piano, voice and percussion. Brown will be joined by Aquila Kikora Franklin, associate director for equity, diversity and inclusion for the Penn State School of Music and professor of theatre/dance, and Ron Stabinsky, a pianist with decades of experience.

The term MOJATUBA, a mixture between the acronym MOJA — which stands for Modern dance, Original works, Jazz styles, and African influence — and its distinctive association with the tuba, represents a sample of the stylistic creativity that this ensemble can execute. The diverse ethnic theme of the program, especially its African-influenced music and dance, contributes to the creation of a soulful energy that connects performers and audience, rendering each performance a profound spiritual experience.

In addition to serving as this year’s laureate, Brown is also the David P. Stone Endowed Professor and associate director for equity, diversity and inclusion in the School of Music.

Brown, who has released five solo CDs and has collaborated on several other recordings as a soloist and ensemble member, is currently the principal tubist of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. She has performed and taught in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Finland, France, England, Hungary, Slovenia, Russia, Japan, Cuba, Canada and the United States.

An annual faculty honor established in 2008, the Penn State Laureate is a full-time faculty member in the arts or humanities who is assigned half time for one academic year to bring greater visibility to the arts, humanities and the University, as well as to their own work. In this role, the laureate is a highly visible representative of the University, appearing at events and speaking engagements throughout the commonwealth.