GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Grand Canyon Music Festival presents its 29th season, from Aug. 24 to Sept. 8, with weekend concerts at the Shrine of the Ages, South Rim at the Grand Canyon National Park. The Festival also presents the twelfth season of its Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP), with music education programs at Navajo and Hopi Reservation schools, and the fifth season of School of Rock for students at Grand Canyon Unified Schools.
Founded in 1983, the Grand Canyon Music Festival brings world-renowned artists to Arizona for performances, outreach, and education programs in rural and underserved Arizona communities, at affordable admission prices. The annual three-week series of concerts held at the Shrine of the Ages, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park emphasizes the broad diversity of chamber music in celebration of the environment of this majestic World Heritage Site. The festival is the winner of the President's Council on the Arts and the Humanities Youth Program, the Governors Arts Award, two-time winner of the ASCAP-Chamber Music America and winner of the Award for Adventurous Programming.
Aug. 24 and 25 - ETHEL: America's premier postclassical string quartet Robert Bonfiglio, harmonica, Joe Deninzon and Stephen Benson.
Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 - Catalyst Quartet, with special guests ETHEL and bassist Trevor Reed This young string quartet, top laureates and alumni of the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players is on a mission to advance diversity in classical music and inspire new and young audiences with dynamic performances of repertoire by a wide range of composers. Featuring Osvaldo Golijov's nonet Last Round, an homage to Piazzolla.
On Sept. 1, experience composer Richard Einhorn's octet, "The Silence. Come early for a pre-concert discussion with Richard Einhorn about his experience with sudden hearing loss at the age of 57, and how he has become an advocate for the hearing impaired.
"He's one of those people where you have probably heard his music even though you aren't aware of it," Hoffman said. "About five years ago he lost his hearing in one ear and barely able to hear things out of his other ear. It's like the story of Beethoven. The interesting thing is he is still able to compose, but it is very difficult because he can't hear his music."
Sept. 7 - "A Night at the Opera" Featuring Cabiria Jacobsen, mezzo-soprano; Kirk Dougherty, tenor: Jon Klibonoff on piano and Clare Hoffman on flute. Husband and wife singers Kirk Dougherty and Cabiria Jacobsen bring some of opera's greatest hits to the Grand Canyon Music Festival stage, including semi-staged scenes from La Cenerentola and West Side Story.
"We are returning to a tradition with having singers back in the program," GC Music Fest organizer Clare Hoffman said. "And some of the singers will be acting out the pieces which makes it more dramatic."
Sept. 8 - "The Art of Song" Cabiria Jacobsen, mezzo-soprano; Kirk Dougherty, tenor: Jon Klibonoff, piano Enjoy the Art of Song from Baroque masters to contemporary classics. Husband and wife singers Kirk Dougherty and Cabiria Jacobsen perform works of Purcell, Handel, Britten, Gershwin, and Porter, as well as selections from two new song cycles, Vignettes: Ellis Island by Alan Louis Smith, and Craigslistlieder by Gabriel Kahane.
Free community events
On Sept. 2 at 4 p.m., at the Grand Canyon Community Building, the GCMF's seminal, award-winning education outreach project, Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP), culminates in a daylong fair for students, families and the community with the new music ensemble ETHEL and the Catalyst Quartet, and composers-in-residence Raven Chacon, Michael Begay, and Trevor Reed. Concert at 4 p.m. of works by the Grand Canyon Music Festival's NACAP students at Grand Canyon Community Building.
On Aug. 31 at the Shrine of the Ages, the Grand Canyon Music Festival's School of Rock celebrates its 5th season with Bonfiglio Group members Robert Bonfiglio, Stephen Benson and Joe Deninzon, and Grand Canyon School's own band of talented rockers. This free community pre-concert student recital at Shrine of the Ages begins at 5 p.m.
The Grand Canyon Music Festival, winner of the President's Council on the Arts and the Humanities Arts and Humanities Youth Program, Governors Arts Award, and two time Winner: ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming, has been recognized as an innovator in programming and education outreach, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Western State Arts Federation (WESTAF), the Flinn Foundation, Chamber Music America, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, ASCAP Foundation, APS, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.
The Grand Canyon Music Festival attracts artists of international acclaim, including Pulitzer Prize winning composers like John Corigliano, William Bolcom, and Paul Moravec. Festival performances are heard nationwide on National Public Radio's "Performance Today" and statewide on KNAU, Flagstaff, and KBAQ, Phoenix. The Grand Canyon Music Festival has been featured the on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered."
Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP).
Since 1984, the Festival has served Native American communities within the state, including the Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai, and Pima Indian Reservations, the Heard Museum, and Scottsdale Community College. In 2001, we inaugurated our Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP). Recognized for its outstanding work with youth, NACAP is an intensive tutoring program on the art of composition for string quartet. Our 2012 composers-in-residence, Raven Chacon, Michael Begay, Blair Quamahongnewa, and Trevor Reed, work with students from 5 Navajo and Hopi high schools In Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Those student works are then work-shopped, premiered, toured, and recorded by ETHEL, NACAP 2012 ensemble-in-residence and the Catalyst Quartet, 2012 NACAP fellowship ensemble-in-residence.
School of Rock
Inspired by the success of NACAP, the GCMF incorporated the School of Rock into its educational programming in 2007. Grand Canyon School of Rock is a fast-paced, week-long education program developed with Grand Canyon Music Festival musicians that gives of Grand Canyon Unified School students the opportunity to experience all aspects of band life.
The Grand Canyon Music Festival is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; Arizona Commission of the Arts through appropriations from the Arizona State Legislature, and with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; WESTAF, the Western State Arts Federation and the National Endowment for the Arts; Target; Steinway Piano Showroom of Scottsdale; ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund; Utah Division of Arts & Museums and the National Endowment for the Art; D'Addario Foundation; and with support from Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon Association, Canyon Plaza Resort Grand Canyon, Red Feather Lodge, Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn, Mountain Ranch Resort, Western Discovery Museum, Grand Canyon Airlines, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, The Grand Hotel, Valle Airpark, Xanterra Resorts, Transcanyon Shuttle, North Country Grand Canyon Clinic, Grand Canyon Unified School, Grand Canyon PTA, Grand Canyon Rotary Club, and South Grand Canyon Sanitation, and other local sponsors.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children age 6 and up and students. Season tickets to all seven concerts, $90. For more information call (800) 997-8285 or (928) 638-9215. For complete schedule information and tickets visit www.grandcanyonmusicfest.org.