State Road students learn about Eritrean music, culture


State Road Elementary School students are learning the music and culture of countries from around the world, and recently enjoyed a taste of the music and culture of Eritrea from custodian Thehaye “Ty” Nugese. 

Officially known as the State of Eritrea, this country in northeast Africa is bordered by Ethiopia to the south, Sudan to the west, Djibouti to the southeast and the Red Sea to the east. It’s about 117,600 square kilometers, making it roughly the same size as Pennsylvania. 

Student reporters Abigail Bielemeier, Riley Hall, Noa Rogers, Carter Chase and Panagiotis Halvatzis interview Thehaye “Ty” Nugese about the music and culture of Eritrea. Nugese, pictured holding his krar, played the stringed instrument for them.

Music teacher Stephanie Jones said she was excited to work with Nugese. For a week, she had students on the morning announcements sharing short facts about Eritrea — everything from singers Helen Meles and Abraham Afewerki to the nine most common languages spoken in the country.  

Then, Nugese visited her music room for a special video recording, during which he played traditional instruments such as his krar — a sort of box guitar he made himself — and answered prepared questions from five fifth graders who asked about his country and music.  

The recording was later shared with the entire school so all of the Eagles could enjoy Nugese’s music and country of origin.