Learn to Play Northeastern Brazilian Music in Urbana!

Currently in its second year, the University of Illinois Brazilian Music Ensemble, also known as Nação Terra do Milho, “Cornland Nation,” is designed to study the nature of Brazilian music in an experiential and welcoming environment that is open to both UIUC students and community members. For student members, the ensemble is listed as a for-credit course: MUS 252 S1 / MUS 450 S1, which is offered every semester to undergraduate and graduate students. Weekly meetings are held in the UIUC Music Building, room 0359 (Fishbowl), each Thursday from 5:30-7:30 pm. Community members are welcome to join at any point during the semester. There is no fee required to participate in the ensemble, just a commitment to attend weekly rehearsals.

The name Nação Terra do Milho references the the Afro-Brazilian percussion genre maracatu, in which performing ensembles are separated into nações or “nations.” The group primarily learns and performs music of Brazil's Northeast, including not only maracatu, but also a variety of other regional genres such as coco, baião, xote, carimbó, and incelenças and benditos, as well as music from the Movimento Armorial. Focusing on the region's traditional instruments, such as the rabeca (a Brazilian fiddle), zabumba (a type of bass drum), and pífano (a cane flute), the ensemble explores regional genres, dance rhythms, and vocal practices.  

In addition to learning to perform the music, participants also gain insight into local performance contexts and cultural significance. Students in the course learn most of the music by ear. If you are interested in joining, or have questions about participating, please contact co-directors Michael Silvers at msilvers@illinois.edu or Ellen Rice at emrice4@illinois.edu.

MUS 252 S1 | MUS 450 S1
Every Thursday- 5:30-7:30 PM
0359 Music Building