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World In Potsdam Fest Welcomes Spencerville Pipe Band, Norte Tropical, Akua Dance Troupe

Visitors to this year’s World in Potsdam Diversity Festival on September 23 will get a musical taste of three continents as the Spencerville Legion Pipe Band, Norte Tropical and Akua perform on the Market Street stage.

The Spencerville Legion Pipe Band’s musical program, “Afternoon with Friends,” will be presented twice at the festival.  Their first performance is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., with an encore performance at 4:30 p.m.

Adding some variation to the program’s traditional Scottish bagpipe fare are fiddler Kate Bevan-Baker, premier highland dancer Sonja Stilnovitch, professional trumpeter Peter Bevan-Baker and percussionist Matt Hubbard on the African djiambe.

Formed in 1966, the band is a community-based, family oriented group that draws members from Leeds and Grenville Counties in Ontario as well as St. Lawrence County.  The group has been successful in several competitions including a recent first place showing in the Grade Four contest at the North-Eastern USA Championships.

Norte Tropical is the Crane Latin Ensemble at the SUNY Potsdam.  Originally formed as a combo group, it has blossomed into a group of more than 20 performers under the direction of Marsha Baxter.  This spring, Norte Tropical was invited to perform at the Nuyorican Café in New York City.

The Potsdam-based Akua Dance Troupe is a group of dancers, drummers, singers, artists, farmers and others living in Northern New York.

Akua, whose name is a West African word meaning “sweet messenger,” presents a variety of indigenous and African diasporic cultures through movement, ritual and rhythm arts such as West African drumming, maculele, capoeira and Middle Eastern dance. 

The Akua troupe believes that movement, ritual and rhythm can connect people to their inner and outer worlds, enhance their spiritual well being and are essential to healthy human existence.

The “World in Potsdam” Diversity Festival is cosponsored by Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, the Village of Potsdam and the Sweetgrass Foundation.

For more information, please contact Mary Theis, festival chair, at 315-268-7970 or visit the festival Web site at

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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