Shelter Music Boston Partners with Native American Composers Apprentice Project for Free Video Series

By Logan Martell

Shelter Music Boston has announced that it will be partnering with the Native American Composers Apprentice Project to bring their perspective on classical music to homeless shelters and programs around Boston.

Together the organizations will release 12 videos called “Voices From the Land,” featuring original works by current NACAP students, alumni, and faculty who hail from the Diné (Navajo), Hopi, Laguna, Salt River Pima-Maricopa, San Carlos Apache, and Tewa nations. Every week, they will release a new video, featuring a special message from the piece’s composer, which will be available to watch for free on SMB’s YouTube channel.

Part of the Grand Canyon Music Festival, the NACAP tutors Native American high-school students in composition for string quartet and small ensembles, with the program led by professional Native composers.

Among the composers are Michael Begay, Xavier Ben, Gemal Benallie, Sage Bond, Gregory Cortez, Cina Curley, Damien Jones, Sialik King, Arika Morningstar, Christina Shupla, Dennelia Stevens, and Thylia Yazzie.

SMB ensemble artists for the program include cellists Javier Caballero, Nathaniel Taylor, and Thonda Rider; percussionist Jonathan Hess; flutist Clare Hoffman; violinists Annegret Klaua Julie Leven, Julia McKenzie, and Yonah Zur; violists Matthew Liebendorfer and Rebecca Strauss; and soprano/pianist Sonja Dutoit Tengblad.

“Values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are central to the Shelter Music Boston mission,” says Julie Leven, Shelter Music Boston founder and creator of this project. “Artistic projects lift up the voices of those who have been marginalized, and we are proud to play a small part in amplifying the voices of these incredible NACAP composers.”