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Public Scholar

Music Improvisation
British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BEF)
Edinburgh, 13 - 16 April, 2023

2020 Outstanding University Creative Activity Award Recipient
Illinois State University

This award is made to experienced faculty who have established a national/international reputation for creative work in their field. Creative contributions shall include, but not be limited to, the following: painting, sculpture, film, drama, musical composition, choreography of a dance, poetry, a novel, creative non-fiction, creative media programming.  This award is not designed to recognize a single major work, but recognizes consistent and sustained contributions to the profession/discipline/field. 

Professor Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum, Nana

"In my classes and workshops, people use their bodies, they sing, clap, dance, which person and its unique rhythmic patterns to make the whole group experience. 

They leave the class, having learned

the importance of community

and the importance of their uniqueness within the community".


Ellen T. Blaney Humanities Award - Illinois State University (2023)

Outstanding University Creative Activity Award recipient - Illinois State University (2020)

Outstanding Theatrical Moment—AACT National (2019), and Outstanding Achievement in a Leading Role—AACT National (2019)

Outstanding Performance—AACT Region III (2019)

Outstanding Use of Music—ITA (2019), Outstanding Performance—ITA (2019), State Champion—ITA (2019)

Outstanding Original Work—Illinois Theatre Association (2019)

YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Creative Arts and Entertainment (2019)

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholar Award (2018)

ISU College of Fine Arts Outstanding Researcher Award (2018)

YWCA Women of Distinction Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum

ISU West African Drumming and Dancing Ensemble (IWADDE)

Illinois State University West African Drumming and Dance Ensemble (IWADDE) is offered at the School of Music. The class was launched in 2000, a year after Dr. Aduonum came to Illinois State University. This is a hands-on class in West African drumming. No previous experience with dance or music is required. Open to all students.

west african drumming Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum Ethnomusicologist public-scholar
west african drumming Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum Ethnomusicologist public-scholar

University of Massachusetts (Amherst) performance. March 2020

Feminine Spirits Group, Bloomington, IL. June 2016

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