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A BRIEF HISTORY ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS

The School of Performing Arts which used to be known as the School of Music and Drama was established in October, 1962 as a section in the Institute of African Studies.

The School at this time was made up of two units, Music and Drama which evolved into the Department of Drama and Theatre Studies in 1972. The School was first headed by Prof. J.H. Nketia and then Dr. Ephraim Amu. The following individuals also served as heads of the School: Prof. A.M. Opoku, Prof. Atta Annan Mensah, Dr. N.Z. Nayo, Mr. Ben Akosa Anning, Prof. Joe de Graft (for a short period), Dr. A.A.R. Turkson (acting), Mrs. Sophia D. Lokko(acting), Mr. Sandy Arkhurst(acting), Prof. Kofi Anyidoho, Prof. Martin Owusu(acting), Prof. William Oscar Anku(substantive), and currently Dr. Awo Mana Asiedu(acting).

In the year 1977, the School changed its name to School of Performing Arts but was still under African Studies till October, 1978 when it became autonomous.

Overview

The School of Performing Arts offers degree programmes in the areas of Dance, Music and Theatre Arts. All three disciplines offer graduate and undergraduate programmes.

With the exception of Theatre Arts Department, the non- degree diploma programme is offered by the Departments of Music and Dance Studies. The Music Department offers doctoral degrees for prospective students.

The School of Performing Arts combines the three disciplines of Theatre, Music and Dance in the training of Middle and Management level staff of several establishments in Ghana and indeed internationally. It continues to play this role among other obligations and commitments:

The Ghana Education Service (the largest beneficiary), The National Commission On Culture (with its numerous Centres for National Culture spread throughout the country, each requiring trained cultural performing arts experts), Universities (where over ninety percent of the teaching staff are alumni of the School of Performing Arts), The National Theatre of Ghana, G.B.C (TV and Radio programmes producers and Directors), the numerous F.M Stations, Video Film Production Outfits, Professional and amateur Performance Groups.

Through its productions and outreach programmes, the School continued with its enrichment of the cultural life of the university and the surrounding communities. Abibigromma, the resident theatre group of the School embarked on outreach programmes to second cycle schools as well as the carrying out of community education in rural areas.

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