Native American Composers Apprentice Program (NACAP) was created
three years ago to develop the musical talent of high school students
in northern Arizonas Hopi and Navajo communities.
coaching in composition techniques with the Grand Canyon Music Festivals
composer-in-residence Brent Michael Davids, creates new student
works for string quartets. Tuba City High School, Monument Valley
High, Greyhills Academy High School, Kayenta High School and Hopi
High School are the participating high schools in the western reservation
student composer apprenticeship program, offered through the Grand
Canyon Music Festival, has been overwhelmingly successful. The music
festival was founded in 1983 and, since 1985, has conducted outreach
presentations at schools on the nearby Navajo and Hopi reservations,
as well as at Grand Canyon and Flagstaff.
this year, surrounding lower grade schools on Hopi will also benefit
by having a live performance at selected school sites in student
assembly presentations. These grade schools include Hotevilla-Bacavi
Community School, Polacca Day School and Second Mesa Day School.
program is spread over several days of supervised one-on-one work
with the composer-in-residence at each of the high school sites.
The final touches on the piece are completed at the Grand Canyon
during the final rehearsal week with the quartet and student.
this years composer-in-residence, is a Mohican composer and
professional crystal flute player. He will work with students to
develop musical literacy, which enhances critical thinking and decision-making
skills through the study of music composition.
works individually with selected NACAP students and in group sessions.
He will cover comparative discussion of western music theory, composition,
oral traditions of indigenous cultures, an overview of western and
native instruments, music notation, orchestration and individual
artistic expression. The students work is reviewed and then
performed by award-winning string quartets (the Miro Quartet
in 2001; the Corigliano String Quartet in 2002) and is the focus
of outreach programs to nine northern Arizona schools, in Tuba City,
Kayenta Chilchinbeto, Polacca-Keams Canyon and Second Mesa.
NACAPs 2003 quartet in residence is the award winning Avalon
to several major publications and musical reviews, GC Music Festivals
Native American Composer Apprentice Project has been quoted to light
fires. This is easy to assess with the obvious continued interest
of native students in the five area reservation schools who have
actually made requests for a longer time to study and create music
with the composer-in-residence and the selected string quartet.
are currently no Native American composition students enrolled in
any music conservatories and only a handful of formally-educated
Native American composers working today.
addresses the root causes of this scarcity of Native American voices
on the American music scene, due to several causeslack of
music programs in reservation schools, lack of access to musical
institutions and even cultural biases.
Music Festival and the native apprentice program enable five western
agency high schools students, who are interested in music
composition or music in general, to participate with professional
musicians and hear their final student works through the concert
series that is presented in a formal concert setting at the Shrine
of Ages at the Grand Canyon. Appropriately, this shrine is a sacred
site for the student tribal members who participate and benefit
from this program.
Endowment for the Arts, Arizona Commission on the Artswith
funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for
the Arts, the Compton Foundation, WESTAF-Western States Arts Federation,
and Arizona ArtSharethe state arts endowment fund, as well
as additional public and private contributions provide monetary
support for the program.
native feature for this years concert series will be well-known
storyteller Michael LaCapa (Hopi, Tewa and Apache). LaCapa will
tell his version of the Russian story, A Soldiers Tale,
at the Sept. 19 presentation at the Shrine of the Ages in the Grand
for the concerts are $18/adults and children/$8. For more information
on the native apprentice composer program or for concert tickets,
call Chris Crossland, administrator for GCMF, at 1-800-997-8285.
The fax number for ticket requests is 928-638-3373.