Our guest for this episode of the Music at Pitt Podcast is Charles Lwanga, a composer, theorist, master drummer, and ethnomusicologist. Charles completed his PhD in composition and theory here at Pitt in 2012 and recently completed his second PhD in ethnomusicology. At the 2019 meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Charles’ paper, "We’re Fighting for Freedom: Singing for Change, Contesting Greed in Uganda," was recognized as the best student paper in the African section, marking the second time he has received this award. In the past year he’s also published reviews in the Journal of Ethnomusicology and the Journal of Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies.
Charles remains active as a composer as well having recently released a recording of his duet for tenor trombone and percussion, One Buzzy Evening, including his own analysis of the piece, in the Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa.
He’s currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Psychology at Pitt where he conducts research with Professor Kirk Erickson on the effects of African dance and education intervention on brain and cognition among African American seniors living in Pittsburgh.