Music internship empowers native students

TUBA CITY --It was a pure delight to hear their compositions and a thrill to see the faces of these young Native American student composer hopefuls from both the Hopi and Navajo Tribes. Their first public presentation of newly composed classical music for this season's 2005 Grand Canyon Music Festival concert series was held at Tuba City on Sept.23

The afternoon's public presentation of native student musical creativity where young NACAP interns put their feelings and musical expression on composition paper for professional musical quartet, "Ethel" based out of New York. Playing for the reservation public brought much applause, cheers and bravos from student peers and parents alike.

Native student composers from the Tuba City High School, Hopi High School, Monument Valley High School, Greyhills Academy High School, and this year's newest member school, Maricopa-Pima High School were able to work with "Ethel" and Navajo composer Raven Chacon under the supervision of NACAP Composer-in-Residence, Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, a Chickasaw from Oklahoma.

Native American Composer's Apprenticeship Program (NACAP) is the five- year-old educational brainchild of the Grand Canyon Music Festival's Board of Directors. The Grand Canyon Music Festival had been providing outreach classical music education assembly like group presentations to both Hopi and Navajo reservation area school in the past 15 years.

In its 5th successful year, NACAP selected interns were from their area reservation schools to participate in music composition work with the Composer-in-Residence for an intense two-week program. Then their final student work is presented publicly at both reservation school settings and at the renowned Shrine of the Ages auditorium located at the Grand Canyon during the concert season series in September of each year for a featured weekend.

This year, Tuba City High School students Jordan Begay (Dine'/junior), Jessie Bilagody (Anglo-Dine'/junior), Jeannie Chee(Dine'/junior), Jessica Seweyestewa(Hopi/junior), Janeene Phillips(Dine/senior)were among the student interns that participated in the musical program..

NACAP Student compositions will be featured on the last weekend of Sept. 23-24 of this year's concert series which ran from Sept. 19-25.

For more information about the NACAP program, student participation, or to go to one of the series concerts, call for ticket prices and information to: Chris Crossland or Rene' Westbrook at the Grand Canyon Music Festival office at 800-9997-8285 or call the Tuba City District Office of Public Relations at 928-283-1072.

(Rosanda Suetopka Thayer is Public Relations Director for Tuba City Unified School District.)

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