Diné Band Music Fest to be held April 3

<i>Rosanda Suetopka Thayer/NHO</i><br>
Last year's Diné Band Fest featured guest conductor Richard Vigclucci of Northern Arizona University's music program. Students from four tribal groups are expected to participate in this year's event that will feature a public performance on April 3.

<i>Rosanda Suetopka Thayer/NHO</i><br> Last year's Diné Band Fest featured guest conductor Richard Vigclucci of Northern Arizona University's music program. Students from four tribal groups are expected to participate in this year's event that will feature a public performance on April 3.

CHINLE, Ariz. - For the fourth consecutive year, Chinle High School will feature the Diné Band Fest on April 3 at the Wildcat Den at Chinle High School. The Fest was an idea conceived by band teacher Eric Swanson as an opportunity to have students experience playing in a full size, concert band environment with other students from other tribal reservation high schools.

Tickets will be $5 at the door for the performance and this year will feature two stage areas for its participants.

One area will be for ensemble participation and the other, a main stage area for participating high school bands. Ticket holders are encouraged to roam between the two areas.

The program will start at 6 p.m. DST for the high school participants and a special performance by Jerome Jim, professional classical flutist from Albuquerque, N.M. The Navajo Nation Band will perform at 8 p.m.

Young musicians from surrounding tribes will join this year's Fest, including Zuni, Hopi and Apache students as well as students from Chinle, Ganado, Monument Valley and Navajo Prep. This festival is not just multi-generational, but multi-tribal as well.

"The whole idea is to get as many students who are interested in music or performing arts involved and participating in our Diné Band festival to share ideas, share musical inspiration and a chance to hear music as a real career choice," Swanson said.

Special guest performer will be professional flutist Jerome Jim, a member of the Navajo Nation. Jim will give a solo performance for the reservation area community and will allow participating music students to hear professional level classical music in a reservation-area setting.

The Diné Band Fest provides the time and encouragement for its student participants to play in a full size concert band setting, which is usually 60-70 players with all musical instruments covered. The event will also offer musical clinicians to work with students that will hold "sectionals" that are much like private lessons focused on individuals instruments.

For more information about your students participating in the weekend workshop festival, call Eric Swanson at (928) 674-5680 or (435) 757-8339.

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