James Pellerite, a retired IU professor of music, will speak about his experiences playing the Native American flute, and perform, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 14, in Kresge Auditorium.
A former principal flute for the Philadelphia Symphony, and founder of the National Flute Association, he put aside his modern flute after he moved to Albuquerque and heard someone playing the Native American flute.
“Since I had no previous knowledge of American Indian music, I have approached the study of this beautiful flute of tradition as a classical flutist, and have elected to combine the influence from music of western societies with the flavoring of Native American style ornamentations,” he said.
He connected with IU Kokomo after reading a story in the IU Foundation’s Imagine magazine, about research conducted by Hisako Masuda, assistant professor of biochemistry, and her students, to find a bacterial means of breaking down a particular nylon used in many disposable products.
“The innovative productivity of her students in a highly specialized field is most impressive,” he said.
After reading the story, he felt compelled to make a gift to the IU Kokomo School of Science Research Fund. As a 30-year professor in the Jacobs School of Music, he has unique insight into the difference contributions like his can make for faculty and students.
“Supporting research is a wonderful way in which to invest in blueprints for the future,” he said. “My students provided great moments of inspiration. While teaching them, I too was learning.”
Masuda was thrilled when she found out about Pellerite’s gift.
“It’s always great when someone outside of science sees how important our research is,” Masuda said.
Pellerite’s performance is open to the public, and donations will be accepted to benefit music programs in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. A reception will follow the program. Free parking is available on campus.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.