Scotland’s first professional African Symphonic Orchestra is playing three concerts this week as part of a major conference on African Studies hosted by the University of Edinburgh.

The 15-strong The Ha Orchestra is playing three dates at St Cecilia’s Hall for the European Conference on African Studies (ECAS).

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 orchestra is performing four new pieces commissioned for the conference as well as existing material.

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.

The conference has brought 1,500 experts on Africa from across the world to Edinburgh. As well as academic events, there is a programme of cultural and arts events for delegates, including concerts, author readings, film screenings and exhibitions.

The concerts are at 7.00pm this evening Thursday and 6.00pm tomorrow Friday at St Cecilia’s Hall 50 Niddry Street

The Ha Orchestra – Ha Orchestra, Scotland’s only African Orchestra, rehearsing in preparation for three concerts this week at St Cecilia’s Hall, Niddry Street, Edinburgh, as part of the European Conference of African Studies, hosted at the University of Edinburgh
Members of the Ha Orchestra – Seny Camara, Samuel Takyi, Kathrine Suwalski, Alfred Tamakloe, Omar Afif, Sabine Boyer and Naa Ayeley Okine.
PHOTO Stewart Attwood