Sonja Branch & Elizabeth DeLamater
Sonja D. Branch has studied and played Senegalese music since 1998. She collaborated with her mentor, the late Dr. Mark Sunkett, for many years, and has made several trips to West Africa. In 2014, she founded the Sabar group Ensemble Ndeye Soxna. Branch performs with many other Phoenix-area ensembles and was a featured performer on the Phoenix Chorale’s 2008 Grammy Award-winning album. Branch received her Bachelor of Music degree from Ithaca College and both her Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Master of Music degree from Arizona State University.
As a performer, pedagogue, clinician, and researcher, Elizabeth DeLamater is committed to bringing the highest level of percussion performance to students and audiences alike. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and the International Music Camp. DeLamater has performed with many classical and contemporary ensembles including the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Opera Project Columbus, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, and Kaganu Percussion. DeLamater has been fortunate to participate in the world’s panoply of percussion traditions. Her travels include multiple trips to Trinidad and Tobago, a 2010 trip to Senegal and The Gambia, and study at the Dagara Music Center in Ghana. Her numerous festival and conference appearances include multiple PASICs. Previous teaching appointments include Youngstown State University, Baldwin Wallace University, Roosevelt University, North Central College, and Waubonsee Community College. DeLamater has served on the PAS World Percussion Committee. Her published work can be found in The Instrumentalist, Panpress and Percussive Notes. DeLamater received her doctoral degree from Arizona State University, master’s degree from Florida State University, and bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University.