Dr Uchenna Ngwe
Uchenna Ngwe is an oboist, curator, educator, and researcher. Born in North London, she studied oboe and cor anglais at Trinity College of Music from the Junior Department, through undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Alongside a busy freelance career, her interest in research led to a return to study at Trinity Laban and a PhD titled Re-sounding the African Diaspora: Uncovering Afro-British histories in British classical music through curatorial-activism. Since then, her continued exploration into expanding repertoire through creative practice investigates and highlights the lives and work of historical Black classical musicians in Britain from the perspective of a performer-curator-activist.
The main areas of research that Uchenna is involved in focus on marginalised identities in Western classical music and digital pedagogy. Drawing on years of experience in digital learning, she founded plainsightSOUND – an online research project highlighting the under-recognised work of historical Black African diasporic classical musicians in Britain.
Uchenna is also founder and artistic director of Decus Ensemble – a chamber group specialising in under-performed music composed for wind and strings. Much of their repertoire emerges from her research into Black classical music and repertoire and is regularly presented through concerts and workshops. Uchenna has appeared as a presenter and guest contributor for several BBC Radio programmes, including Sounds Connected and Inside Music. She also presented the BBC Radio 3 Sunday Feature documentary ‘Frank Johnson, Queen Victoria and the Black Brass Band’, which followed her research into the life of the innovative 19th-century African American performer and composer.