On November 11, a group of honors students went to Austin’s Casual Eatery & Bar followed by listening to and participating in amusic performance at the Murphy Theater. Known as enrichment activities, honors students have several opportunities to participate in these activities throughout each semester. This particular performance featured an Ecuadorean band named Andes Manta, four brothers who are natives of the Ecuadorean Andes.
The performance was not only the band playing the native music, but it included a “question and answer” segment where the students could play the instruments themselves. They were able to interact with the band members and learn about the culture as well as the instruments. Ruth Dobyns, the Curator of the Quaker Heritage Center, stated, “Playing more than 35 traditional instruments, Andes Manta provides a rare opportunity for cultural understanding between the people of South and North America.” The inside look that the students had during the event created an even stronger understanding of the culture. Ruth also shared that “the purpose of these concerts is to introduce the audience to art forms from around the world and create new audiences for the performing arts.” Andes Manta successfully reached this purpose.
Enrichment activities are an important part of the honors program at Wilmington College. Headed by Micahel Snarr, director of the Honors program, they widen the spectrum for honors students academically and culturally. These activities include Issues and Artist speakers, plays, and off-campus activities such as the performance. Megan Canfield, the freshman chairman of the honors advisory board, said in reference to the activities, “I think it’s a really different and great way to expose us to different cultures. They are turning us into global citizens and we hardly even realize it. And I’m personally thankful that they do this. I would highly recommend all honors students to participate.” She, as well as other students, thinks it is a good way to get to know other grades in the program. It also exposes students to the town of Wilmington and places such as the Murphy Theater for which the town is known.
To learn more about the Wilmington Honors Program, go to www2.wilmington.edu/honors-program/.