In 2019, Thrasher Opera House was awarded a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in order to bring world music education to school districts and community members in the area.

After many months of postponing, Thrasher and the NEA have been able to redesign the program in order to offer this cultural outreach in a safe, yet enriching way during the week of April 19. This program also is supported with a sponsorship from Ripon’s Condon Total Comfort.

On Tuesday, April 20, multi-instrumentalist Todd Green will live stream his program from the Thrasher Opera House to classrooms in more than seven school districts. In addition, a limited number of Green Lake School students will be able to watch this program in person. Green will present to middle and high school students, as well as elementary students.

Green takes the students on a whirlwind tour of musical instruments as he demonstrates 25 string, flute and percussion instruments from around the world. He relates the instruments, culturally and historically, pointing out both differences and common threads, and demonstrates unusual rhythms and scales used in other cultures. His custom-built electronic system, which allows him to layer instruments as he performs, helps give the students an idea of how the instruments sound when played together in their respective cultures. The interactive program aims to keep everyone riveted as Green “helps break down the barriers that divide us by experiencing other cultures through their music” and concludes with Q&A.

On Thursday, April 22, Green will present a master class for students from Ripon College in the morning and a special volunteer appreciation program for Thrasher volunteers in the afternoon.