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Samba Fest Brings Together Community, Culture, and Academics

Samba Fest is an annual event that celebrates the intersections of culture, community, and academic inquiry. Produced by Eric Galm, Professor of Music, this year’s Samba Fest was a way to welcome back music and celebrate culture, something we have all missed these last couple of pandemic years. Taking place on Trinity College’s Life Sciences Center (LSC) Quad, Samba Fest included musical performances with traditional Samba instruments including drums and the cavaquinho, an instrument similar to a ukulele.

 Here at Trinity, you could feel the joy characteristic of Samba music radiating across the quad. 

Gisselle ‘GiGi’ Hernandez ’22. Photo by Virginia Kemp.

Senior Gisselle ‘GiGi’ Hernández ‘22 was a dedicated committee member that made this whole festival happen. Hernández was responsible for the logo design seen both on campus and throughout the city. When asked about her experience, she said, “I am happy to have seen the event come to life and take on the many roles that came with it. It helped me gain a lot of knowledge for creating a big event like this. Being able to be a creator/performer/artist within this process made me feel at my happiest.” 

Hernández’s love for music showed as she performed for Trinity’s steelpan performance as a theater and dance major. Throughout this spring semester, her steelpan course with Professor Galm taught about different types of Samba. They accomplished what they had been working on all semester during the festival. Hernández explained this experience as a “bitter-sweet ending to her college career.” Although this was her first and last Samba Fest, she said it “encompassed all the joy and serotonin I missed the previous two years.”  

Photo by Virginia Kemp

 In addition to music, Samba Fest attendees were invited to participate in activity tables hosted by student and community groups. This was an event that was geared toward people of all ages. Young children, college students, and adults could be seen making bracelets, having their faces painted, registering to vote, getting vaccinated, and enjoying Brazilian food from a local food truck. 

FRIENDZ World Music teaching dance to festival-goers. Photo by Virginia Kemp.

This year’s performers included Waterbury Public Schools’ ensemble, FRIENDZ World Music, Maculele Dance Demo, Serginho Silva Ensemble, Roda De Capoeira with Efra and Capoeira, and Yamandu Costa and Richard Scofano.

Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement student staff also participated, including Max Norteman ’23, WRTC host and podcaster, and Mandi Harewood ’23., who opened the Coop, the on-campus thrift shop, located on the northwest corner of the LSC quad.

Max Norteman ’23, WRTC host and podocaster

For more behind the scenes on Samba, check out SOMA’s vlog hosted by Jederick Estrella ‘22 and Anna Chin ‘22.

Header photo by Virginia Kemp.





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