ASCC Fine Arts Department Shares Performance Events with the Public

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Published on May 10, 2019

As stated in its Institutional Learning Outcomes, the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) strives to ensure that its students acquire skills and demonstrate proficiencies as: Effective Communicators. The qualities of effective communication include the ability to effectively present information using a variety of modes and media, and adapt a method of presentation to suit specific audiences and convey an intended message using a variety of oral, written, and visual strategies. As a means of conveying meaning by using the latter “strategies,” performance art gives students a showcase for their communication skills, and to celebrate this means of expression the ASCC Fine Arts Department invite the public to join them for two events, one in late April and the other in early May.

On Friday, May 10rd, students from the classes MUS 170 (Concert Choir), MUS 180 (Band), DRA 150 (Drama Workshop), DRA 170 (Interpretation of Literature) showcased their end-of-semester work in the ASCC Variety Show. This event took place in the auditorium of the College’s Multi-Purpose Center. “The concert was a culminating event for the works our students have done in music, drama, and art classes throughout the semester,” said ASCC Fine Arts chairman Kuki Tuiasosopo. “It was equivalent to a written final exam.”

Tuiasosopo explained that the Fine Arts faculty, which includes artist Regina Meredith-Fitiao and music instructors Poe Mageo and Loretta Pua’auli, has chosen the material for the students will perform during the concert. “Over the course of the semester, the faculty provided an academic framework for the specific music and drama, and has also coached the students on how best to interpret this material in live performance. The students put in many hours of rehearsal and preparation, and in essence were completing the work for their final grade as they performed. We had a near-full house of students and members of the public, who responded with a lot of enthusiasm, and we’re happy that so many joined us as we celebrated these mediums of communication.”

During the week prior to the Variety Show, the ASCC Fine Arts Department collaborated with the Samoana Jazz & Arts Festival Board of American Samoa to present a celebration of International Jazz Day 2019 on Tuesday, April 30th, also in the Multi-Purpose Center auditorium. The Festival Board gave a presentation titled “A Tale of Two Samoas – Our Samoan Jazz Story,” which traced Samoa’s involvement with jazz since World War II, and included a discussion of Samoa’s first world-renowned jazz vocalist, the late Mavis Rivers. Following the talk, members of the Samoa Musika Foundation provided a live musical performance. “Our students, and the public in general, largely don’t have much exposure to jazz or an awareness of how it’s contributed to American Samoa’s own cultural landscape over the years,” reflected Tuiasosopo. “The Fine Arts Department supports the efforts of the Festival Board and the Samoa Musika Foundation to add diversity to the kinds of music our community has access to.” The International Jazz Day event also attracted an appreciative audience.