College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Scotland's first African orchestra performs in Edinburgh

Scotland’s first professional African Symphonic Orchestra performed in Edinburgh as part of a major conference on African Studies hosted by the University.

The 15-strong  Ha Orchestra played three dates at St Cecilia’s Hall for the European Conference on African Studies.

Based in Scotland, the orchestra has musicians from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Gambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Belgium, Scotland, England, Denmark, and France. They play traditional instruments from cultures across Africa.

The Ha Orchestra

Major conference

The eighth European Conference on African Studies (ECAS) came to the University for a week of discussions, panels and workshops exploring the latest in the field of African studies.

The conference was hosted by the University’s Centre of African Studies at the School of Social and Political Science.

A programme of related artistic and cultural events also took place, with concerts, exhibitions, book readings and tours.

Packed programme

As well as performances and workshops from The Ha Orchestra, ECAS offered a varied artistic and cultural programme.

display of garments created by students at Edinburgh College of Art as a collaboration with National Museums Scotland was on show in Appleton Tower. The students’ creations were inspired by the museum’s collection of African printed commemorative cloth.

Elsewhere, an exhibition showcased the culmination of UncoverED, a student-led research project looking into the long and under-recognised history of students from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. 

Unique sound

The Ha Orchestra was set up by Dr Gameli Tordzro of the University of Glasgow.

His aim is to bring together musicians from different cultural heritages together to create music that sounds different from the western classical music played in Africa and the African diaspora.

Related links




The University's School of African Studies