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01.03.2006 General News

Professor Atta Annan Mensah passes away

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It is with the deepest regret that the passing of Professor Atta Annan Mensah is announced. This sad event occurred on Friday, February 24, 2006 in Toronto, Canada.

Professor Atta Annan Mensah was born in Winneba, Ghana on December 12, 1925, and pursued his secondary school education at Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, Ghana. He completed extensive professional studies at Achimota College (Ghana), Trinity College of Music (London), University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Ghana. His illustrious academic career began when he joined the faculty at the Kumasi College of Technology (now Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) in September 1951. Professor Mensah was the first Head of the Music Section (Senior Programme Organizer) at the Ghana Broadcasting Service - Radio Ghana - (now Ghana Broadcasting Corporation) in 1956, and also served as the first Head of the Music Division of the School of Music and Drama at the University of Ghana.

Professor Atta Annan Mensah was ranked amongst the most respected ethnomusicologists on the African continent and was equally at home with the music history, theory and compositional and performance practices of the western world and Asia as well as the musical cultures of the African continent in general. As an educator he was a mentor to many young musicians and served at the University of Ghana and the University of Zambia. He planned, founded and established the Performing Arts programmes at Makerere University (Uganda) where he was Head of the School of Music, Dance and Drama (1971 -1974) and at the University of Cape Coast where he again served as founding Head from September 1975 to 1981. At Cape Coast, Professor Mensah also served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1976 to 1980 and Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor from 1979 to 1980. In 1981 Professor Atta Annan Mensah joined the faculty at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, as Founder and Head of the School of Performing

Arts, eventually retiring from this position in 1985. He remained professionally active as a visiting professor at York University in Toronto, Canada and also at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio (1985 -1987) and eventually returned to the University of Ghana where he joined the faculty again as Head of the Department of Music and Acting Director of the School of Performing Arts. In 1993 he retired and returned to Toronto, Canada where he maintained his professional activities with another teaching appointment at York University, conducting workshops, teaching private piano lessons and teaching Music and Philosophy courses at All Nations Bible College. He received an adjunct appointment at York University and continued to spend his time writing. He was the quintessential teacher and mentor to many aspiring musicians and artists.

Professor Mensah is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Mrs. Mercy Eugenia Mensah, five adult children and nine grandchildren. He will be laid to rest on March 24, 2006 in his beloved home of Winneba, Ghana. Please address enquiries and messages to:

Ms. Ekua Mensah 10688 Sexton Bend Road Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35406 Tel. (205) 454-0448 Email: [email protected]