Board of Directors

Damascus Kafumbe, Ph.D., Founding President and Creative Director

Damascus Kafumbe is an ethnomusicologist and performer. He currently serves as an Associate Professor of Music and Director of African Studies at Middlebury College, where he teaches courses in ethnomusicology and world music. He also maintains the College’s Ugandan musical instrument collection and directs both the Middlebury African Music and Dance Ensemble and Middlebury Afropop Band. Kafumbe’s research interests span diverse fields, including African studies, ethnomusicology, performance, history, politics, ritual, and social organization. He has published articles, reviews, and interviews in African Music, Ethnomusicology, World of Music, and Yearbook for Traditional Music. In 2018, University of Rochester Press published his first book, Tuning the Kingdom: Kawuugulu Musical Performance, Politics, and Storytelling in Buganda, in the Eastman/Rochester Studies in Ethnomusicology Series. Kafumbe is a recipient of numerous awards, including a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship. An active member of various professional organizations, he has served as President, Treasurer, and Member-at-Large of the Northeast Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology (NECSEM). He has also served as Co-Chair of the African Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology (AfMS-SEM) and member of the Society for Ethnomusicology Council and Conference Program Committee. Kafumbe is also a current member of the Ethnomusicology Editorial Board and Co-Chair of the African Musics Study Group of the International Council for Traditional Music (US Branch).

Peter Hoesing, Ph.D., Secretary

Dr. Peter J. Hoesing (Pete) is an ethnomusicologist, drummer/multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist who currently serves as Director of Sponsored Programs at Dakota State University. A faculty affiliate of DSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, Hoesing also holds an adjunct appointment on the ethics and humanities faculty section at University of South Dakota’s Sanford School of Medicine. He has previously taught at Grinnell College, Claflin University, and Florida State University, where he finished a Ph.D. in 2011. Hoesing’s first book examines the music of Ugandan traditional healers; the University of Illinois Press will publish it in 2020. His other research and teaching interests span Africa and its global Diaspora, with particular attention to Ugandan expatriate communities and popular music in the Americas. His ethnographic research has garnered generous funding from the Fulbright-Hays Program, the Krebs Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and UNCF Programs. Building on a sustained commitment to performance as an essential component of research and teaching, Hoesing’s work in Uganda has incorporated intensive study of several instruments from drums to indigenous strings with numerous musicians, most notably Dr. Damascus Kafumbe and Ssematimba Frank Sibyangu. As a jazz drummer, Hoesing has performed with Etienne Charles, Roland Guerin, Jason Marsalis, Dan Nimmer, Marcus Printup, and Marcus Roberts, to name a few. He has also studied merengue and salsa with Dominican master drummer Julio Figueroa and Maestro Dr. Juan-Ramón (Tony) Guzmán. Playing and singing remain at the heart of what he does every day in the classroom, in the field, in the office, and at home.

Betty Kafumbe, Treasurer

Betty Kafumbe is an Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Assistant Treasurer at Middlebury College. She is also a singer and pianist with a Bachelor of Music degree from Makerere University, and has diplomas in voice performance and voice teaching from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Kafumbe has taught piano and voice at the Kampala Music School in Uganda, and the Stubbs Music Center in Tallahassee, Florida. She has performed with the Tallahassee Community Chorus, Middlebury Community Chorus, and Amaryllis Choir in Middlebury, Vermont. Kafumbe volunteered as a part-time music tutor at Mary Johnson Children’s Center, leading music sessions with different groups of children. She currently directs the Allegro Chorus at the Middlebury Community Music Center, teaches private music lessons, and serves as a Music Minister at the East Middlebury United Methodist Church.

Lucas Avidan, Member-at-large

Lucas Avidan is a Ph.D. student in UCLA’s ethnomusicology department. Since 2014, he has been researching Tanzanian hip hop and popular music, generally referred to as bongo flava. His research explores cultural transmission in bongo flava, and how this genre negotiates a mixture of foreign and local aesthetic influences. He is currently the managing editor for Sounding Board, the online portion of UCLA’s Ethnomusicology Review, and a book reviews editor for UCLA’s African Studies journal, Ufahamu. In addition, he plays trombone in the Charles Mingus Ensemble.

Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga-Tamusuza, Ph.D., Member-at-large

Dr. Sylvia Antonia Nannyonga-Tamusuza is an Associate Professor of Music and the Head of the Performing Arts and Film Department at Makerere University. She is also the Coordinator of the Ethnomusicology in Uganda Projects and the founder and curator of the Makerere University Klaus Wachsmann Audio-Visual Archive. She has published on popular music, Catholic church music, school music competitions, dance as music, sexuality in music and dance, politics and gender in music, the interface between ethnomusicology and music education, and identities in diasporic music, music repatriation, and archiving. Her publications include the book Baakisimba: Gender in Music and Dance of the Baganda People of Uganda (Routledge, 2005), as well as many articles in various journals and edited volumes. She is co-editor of Ethnomusicology in East Africa: Perspectives from Uganda and Beyond (Fountain, 2012). Her present research is on women’s negotiation for peace and conflict resolution using expressive arts, gendered mobile music, and archival studies based on the Makerere University Klaus Wachsmann Music collections. Nannyonga-Tamusuza is a member of the Society for Ethnomusicology and was part of the Strategic Direction (2017-2021) Planning Committee.