Sad news on a beautiful week-end.

To the Williams Community,

I am sad to report the passing yesterday of KweYao Agyapon, accompanist to our dance program, who has served as musical director and resident composer off and on since the early 1980s. He most recently was on medical leave.

KweYao had worked with many of the country’s top directors, choreographers, and performance groups. We were fortunate to have him with us, not only for his great talent but for his wonderful spirit. He was a warm and gentle man, whose presence we will surely miss.

Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife, Wanda, and their family.

We will pass on details of arrangements when they are known.

Best regards,
M. Schapiro

Brother Spotless notes that Agyapon “mentored many, and was a friend to many more.” Trevor Murphy agrees:

KweYao was a great person to know on campus. His teaching style is pretty much summed up in the first paragraph of this article.

ON a recent morning, Kweyao Agyapon carried six bags of percussion instruments into Public School 17 in Jersey City. He had a private set of hopes as he wisecracked and handed out drums and rattles to rowdy sixth-grade class after rowdy sixth-grade class. And he fulfilled them: by the end of each session, the students had not only drummed, they had also learned new words and concepts, some math, a little foreign language and a lot of cooperation. They may not have noticed, though. They were having too much fun.

If you had to wait for a spell during a tech for a production, time would pass quickly if you had KweYao with you. He had a million stories to tell and you wouldn’t hear the same one twice. He was funny. He listened to you and learned your name quickly. He never told you when he was suffering. You wouldn’t know. You could be playing music with him, crack some jokes, and after the session was over he would be gone. Next thing you would hear was that he was in the hospital. He would never say what it was if you asked. He would have some wisecrack prepared for such inquiries.

This is a realy loss for the dance program at Williams.

Indeed. See here for a bio and here for various images.

Condolences to all.

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