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Pieces of Eight

Jorge Richter, conductor of ECU’s Symphony Orchestra, teaches students in both Greenville and in his native Brazil through digital video and audio technology. Richter is one of several ECU faculty and students participating in an exchange grant program offered through West Virginia University. (Photos by Marc J. Kawanishi)


Broussard Collaborates to Keep 'Music Alive'

By Erica Plouffe Lazure

Whether it be samba or symphony, musicians from East Carolina and universities in Brazil will bring “Music Alive” to both campuses in the next three years.

The program, which involves more than a half dozen faculty and students from both countries, will provide cultural exchanges, foreign language learning, and long-distance master classes.

George Broussard, an ECU professor of music, received the $9,500 grant from West Virginia University to facilitate the program. He hopes it will create a true international collaboration of music and education.

Josinaldo Costa Filho, from the Federal University of Pernambuco Recife in Brazil, is studying classical guitar this semester with ECU professor Elliot Frank.

Already one student, Josinaldo Costa Filho, has come from Brazil to study classical guitar with ECU professor Elliot Frank.

Three ECU students have applied for a $3500 stipend with ECU’s International Affairs to study music at one of the two Brazilian universities.

“There is a deal of culture and music native to Brazil that our students will learn,” Broussard said. “One of the students we hope to send from ECU is a percussionist and we’d like to get him involved in Carnival and in parades and be exposed to native percussion instruments.”

Broussard is working with Jorge Richter, a Brazil native and director for ECU’s Symphony Orchestra, ECU ethnomusicologist Mario Rey and Brandi Dudley, assistant director of ECU’s International Affairs, to collaborate with teams from WVU and faculty and students from the Universidale Federal do Espirito Santo Vitoria and the Federal University of Pernambuco Recife.

Richter, who traveled to Brazil this summer with Broussard, plans to use ECU’s distance education technologies – using the new recording studio at the Fletcher Recital Hall and ECU’s Global Classroom – to deliver instruction and rehearsals for students in Brazil.

More exchanges between students and faculty are expected in the next few years. WVA had received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Brazil Higher Education Consortia for its Music Alive program; WVA awarded ECU with the grant.

This page originally appeared in the September 21, 2007 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at