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about South Africa Music and Culture Trip, May, 2010:

this trip lit a fire under memy life was changed in three weeksit was the greatest adventure of my life!”

“This trip showed us the two extremes of this part of the world, from the largest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere to the shacks that most of the people here live in.” – Katie Honek (music/drama major)

“Seeing the vast separation between ‘middle-class’ and poor in South Africa and comparing that to the wealth, opportunity and resources here has made a significant impact on how I want to live my life.” – Kyle Skillman (Music major)

“Being able to learn first hand from foreign cultures and people is amazing. . . This trip to Durban was more than I ever thought possible in 18 days.” – Jesse Tipping (Liberal Studies Major)

“It was a great experience, musically, culturally, spiritually, emotionally and personally. I was put into a whole new world of beliefs, ideas and life styles.  I never imagined in my wildest dreams that people on the other side of the world could live so differently . . . It really opened my eyes and broke down my ego. . . I will be talking about this trip for the rest of my life.”  – Janelle Resch (Math )

“African people sing because its more than just a habit; its basically life.   Everything about the trip was better than imaginable.  I’m still speechless.”  – Drazen Pantic (Liberal Studies Major)

“It seemed like everyday was filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences and opportunities.” – David Harder (ERS – Environmental and Resource Studies Major)

“This trip was by far the most memorable trip I have ever been on. The energy of the Zulu's is absolutely incredible and by the end of the trip, you can feel their music pumping through your veins. You really get to see all aspects of South Africa. The rich and the poor, the culture and the atmosphere. It really makes one stop to really appreciate the world around them.” 
            – Amber Alitawi (Peace and Conflict Studies Major)

“Being welcomed into the [African] drum circle felt surreal - playing alongside strangers from a different land, dancing in their midst  - I only DREAMED of doing something like this in my LIFE, and I certainly didn't expect to do it on this trip.” –Adam Bognat (Math)

“Africans don't just listen to music like we do, it consumes them.  It literally takes over every ounce of them. The contrast from poor to wealthy made me realize the vast spectrum of wealth in South Africa. I think everyone should have to see poverty first hand because we really have no idea.  The trip changed me. I came back a different person. I have more compassion and faith. I have seen the worst and most scary things. I want to share that as many people as I can. I want the world to know. . . I want to make a difference now.  This trip was the greatest adventure of my life!  – Alanah Morin (History Major)

“This trip has changed me so much. It has lit a fire inside of me.” – Kate Wagner (Arts Major)

“My life was changed in three weeks.  The life lessons I gained from this trip to South Africa are like none other.  We were thrown into a world and a culture so different from ours, but we were caught with open arms and hearts.” – Fiona Whelan (Computer Science Major)

“After leaving Hillcrest AIDS Centre I found myself reconsidering my educational path to go back into the healthcare field. I will remember this trip for the rest of my life.  Being able to experience so much and in such cultural depth in such a little time frame was unbelievable and wonderful.” – Sarah Rogalla (Arts Major)

“I am very seriously thinking I will go back to volunteer [at Hillcrest AIDS Centre] one day!  I just feel as though the work that they do is coming from such a place of love and understanding, and they really are making a difference in the world!  I just love how Africa seems to be pulsing with this beat, this rhythm, and this melody that never stops!  I hope to carry that on to my everyday life.   This trip has changed the way I see myself in relation to the world, and in relation to other people. I've never been so sure of my own beliefs than after this trip. I feel like I now know how I fit into the world.” – Elise Brisson (Social Development Studies Major)

“Hearing ‘Africa Shine’ for the first time, as I watched those beautiful men dance and sing along, it struck such a chord of admiration and pride in me for these wonderful people who are so strong and so happy, and who are investing so much beautiful hope in World Cup 2010 that it might thrust South Africa beyond its post-apartheid definitions, and into a bold and optimistic new future — on behalf of the whole continent! I just found that overwhelming!” – Rebecca Campbell, co-leader, Canadian singer

What reviewers say about Carol Ann Weaver and her music:

 "Weaver’s music deserves national recognition: it’s too important to hear only once in a while." (Finch-Durichen in The Record, Kitchener)

"Her compositions are excellently-crafted, allowing her to demonstrate her sparkling, versatile, often humorous talent as a pianist." (King in International Alliance for Women in Music Journal)

"Awakenings is an artful melange of words, music, styles, and expression that sits on the edge of definition . . . and clearly challenges the genre police ” (Raine-Reusch in MUSICWORKS)

"Dancing Rivers is a richly textured fusion of classical, folk, worldbeat and jazz that bridges the cultures of Africa and North America." (Reid in The Record)

"With its Canadian and African components so instinctively blended, Dancing Rivers poses an inviting enigma. Is it Canadian? African? International? More importantly - does it matter?" (Finch in Waterloo Chroincle)

"Journey Begun resonates with wonder, joy, celebration, and hope." (Gray in MUSICWORKS, Fall 2000)

"Canadian composer, Carol Ann Weaver, gets Rivets rocking! Drawing on a pool of gifted South African artists, her eye for talent couldn't have been sharper."(Ephraim in Sunday Times KZN, South Africa)

"DANCING RIVERS" is yet another testimony to Weaver's undying passion for Africa" (Breslin in UW Imprint)

"Weaver’s music sustains a spontaneity and joy which are rare indeed." (Kroetsch, in MUSICWORKS)

"Journey Begun is full of surprises with its diverse soundscape" (UW Imprint)

"This music ... integrates material not only across geography, but also from idioms often considered separate: Western classical, jazz, pop, and New Age" (Edwards in IAWM Journal (International Alliance of Women in Music)

"This music is rich and complex with intricate relationships among instruments and voices" (Paape in Herizons)

"The appeal of her work is universal, extending beyond gender and conventional musical divisions." (Todd in Ottawa Citizen)

"Weaver doesn’t often use her jazz voice for rollicking, but for earthy punch. This music is soulful, introspective, accessible, clearly enticing." (Johnston in The Record, Kitchener)

"Journey Begun is a genre-bender, fresh and daring, pushing parameters of musical style." (CKWR Radio)

"From the first sonerous bass note to the last fade of the string quartet Journey Begun is an incredible experience." – Currie (The Record, Kitchener)

"Both Carol Ann Weaver and Cate Friesen are dazzling performers whose work is groundbreaking for translating Mennonite aesthetic values into contemporary experimental terms." (Di Brandt, Canadian poet)