On Monday September 30th, the American Corner of Abu Dhabi City hosted a musical matinée featuring Act of Congress (AOC)-an American band based out of Birmingham, Alabama. The four-member group played acoustic instruments with Chris Griffin on the guitar, Adam Wright on the mandolin, Tim Carroll on the upright bass, and Bethany Borg fiddling away across several genres of music such as pop, Americana, and acoustic rock. More than sixty students enjoyed a blend of organic sound that combined hook-laden melodies, compelling songwriting, and intelligent acoustic instrumentation. The performance was part of a UAE tour sponsored by the U.S. Mission in Abu Dhabi.
Act of Congress is rapidly garnering attention throughout the U.S. AOC has performed for the likes of Paste, Disney, NPR and Billboard, and won the IMWS Disc Makers Grand Prize and Colgate Country Showdown regional competition. Also featured at the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA) conference in 2011 as a performer and guest artist, the band has gained recognition and invaluable experience in music education. In 2011, AOC performed their original music with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. It was voted one of the "must see acts" of Alabama, and was featured in the prestigious 2011 Year of Alabama Music.
The American Corner was officially inaugurated at ALHOSN University in January 2011 to promote mutual understanding and an exchange of ideas between the United States and the United Arab Emirates by providing access to current and reliable information about the US by way of books and DVD collections, internet databases, and local programs open to the general public. The American Corner of Abu Dhabi City is one of 490 American Corners world-wide, one of three in the United Arab Emirates, and the first American Corner in the city of Abu Dhabi.