Grand Canyon Music Festival Launches Native American Composers Apprenticeship Program

Participants of the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s first year of the Native American Composer Apprentice Program (NACAP) will be introduced during the 2001 season. NACAP was designed to teach the process of music composition to Native American high school students. The students learn how to create ideas and compose those ideas for various musical instruments, music notation, beginning orchestration, and presenting music to others professionally.

The NACAP participating students Charo Austin (guitar), Eileen Baca (cello), Michael Begay (guitar), Alvin Belagody (guitar), Eugene V. Henry (guitar, trombone, voice), and Ashely Tewa (piano, trombone) are from four northern Arizona schools (Hopi, Kayenta, and Tuba City High Schools and Grey Hills and Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy. The result of their studies—short pieces written by the students for string quartet—will be the focus of this year’s outreach programs to schools at the Grand Canyon and on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations.

“This year the students will be formally introduced on the nights of September 21st and 22nd during the Festival. They will also attend rehearsals with members of the Miró String Quartet,” says Clare Hoffman, one of the founders of NACAP. “Next year we hope to have a pre-concert recital featuring the student’s works.”

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