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Brunell Visiting Scholar Samite to lead discussion about Oscar-nominated film on March 14

DATE: 03-09-2012

Samite, the 2012 Brunell Visiting Scholar at Cayuga Community College, will lead a discussion of the Oscar-nominated documentary, War Dance, following the 7:30 p.m. showing of the film on Wednesday, March 14 in T229 on the Auburn Campus, 197 Franklin St. He will describe his experience in performing music that is used in the film and will raise questions about how much music should be used to soften savagery to present a sense of hope.

The film, written and directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix, follows a group of school children from a refugee camp in northern Uganda as the children make their way to a national music and dance competition. The 105-minute movie was nominated for a Best Documentary Award at the 2008 Oscar Awards.

Samite was born and raised in Uganda, where he learned the traditional flute and grew to love the powerful effects music has on the soul. He is a former refugee who witnessed genocide and human rights violations, losing family under the dictatorship of Milton Obote and Idi Amin. After immigrating to the United States in 1987, he turned to music to bring his message of peace and hope to others.

As the Visiting Scholar, Samite will spend much of the spring semester at Cayuga Community College, holding master classes, sharing his experiences, delivering lectures, hosting faculty enrichment programs, and performing for the campus and broader community.

He has released eight CDs internationally, and in 2009, the film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, which features his original score, debuted nationally on PBS. Samite released My Music World, in 2010, which he has described as capturing more of who he is than any of his previous albums. Most recently, Samite composed the soundtrack for the film Addiction Incorporated and his tenth CD, Trust is scheduled to be released in early 2012. His first live CD, Samite Live: A Collection was just released digitally this month.

Other upcoming public events with Samite this semester include:

  • Concert—7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, Auditorium, G. Ray Bodley High School, 6 William Gillard Drive, Fulton
  • Joint Concert with Cayuga CC student chorus and jazz band—7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, Auburn

For more information about Samite, visit For more information about Samite’s events at Cayuga, contact Professor Howard Nelson at or 315-255-1743.

The Brunell Visiting Scholar program is administered by the College Foundation.