MBDA Native American Commission Project
The purpose and goal of this project is to commission two authentic, Native American compositions, which are written for the concert band medium. These works will assist band director’s to fulfill the Minnesota academic standards (188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.1), by incorporating cultural and musical resources from the Dakota and/or Ojibwe tribes in Minnesota.
Both scores will include a study guide about Minnesota Native American history and culture, as well as reference material used to inspire the compositions. The first piece will be a Grade 2+ work for the 6-8th grade honor band. The second piece will be a grade 3+ work for the 9-10 honor band. Both works will be premiered at the 2013 Regional and State level MBDA Festivals. After the 2013 MBDA premiere, these works will be made available to all directors’ to be used with their own bands. These pieces will be offered at a reduced price to all MBDA members. We are excited to announce that MBDA will be commissioning Brent Michael Davids to compose these two concert band works.
MMEA Mid Winter Clinic Session
Here is the basic information for the session:
•Session Title: “Meeting the Native American Standard with your band”.
•Presenters: Bruce Olson, Brent Michael Davids, and Steve Boulka
•Sponsored by Minnesota Band Director’s Association (MBDA)
The session will be divided in thirds:
1. Purpose and composition information from the composer, Brent Michael Davids. (i.e.: cultural information, authenticity, inspiration, music samples, etc.)
2. Discussion about meeting the MN Standard and educational materials included with the pieces by Steve Boulka.
3. Performance of the two commissioned pieces by the Blaine High School Concert Band, directed by Bruce Olson:
Grade 2-2.5 (for middle school bands) = “Indian Story Time”.
Grade 3-3.5 (for young high school bands) = “Indian Treaty Time”.
BRENT MICHAEL DAVIDS BIOGRAPHY
Professional Concert and Film Composer, and American Indian citizen of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation. Born: June 4, 1959, Madison, Wisconsin. Currently operating a music company he founded, Blue Butterfly Group (BBG). American Indian Music Expert, serving as Educator and Consultant to Schools, Festivals, Seminars and Workshops. Founding Artistic Advisor of the First Nations Composer Initiative (FNCI) with the American Composers Forum (ACF). Master performer of American Indian instruments and styles. Designer of original music instruments.
When American composers are described as “native” the definition is not usually as accurate as when applied to Brent Michael Davids. He has consciously and deliberately focused on his indigenous heritage, honoring its unique qualities in a contemporary setting. He has composed for very different ensembles and genres demonstrating his skill and versatility attained from his classical training, and often uses traditional Native American instruments of his own design in his compositions, including flutes made of quartz crystal. He is an internationally recognized Composer whose music features elements of Native American tribal music combined with Western compositional techniques.
Davids’ composer career spans 35 years, including awards from ASCAP, NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, In-Vision, Joffrey Ballet, Chanticleer, Kronos Quartet, Meet-The-Composer, Miró Quartet, National Symphony Orchestra, Bush Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and Jerome Foundation, among others. Performed in Lakota tribal communities and several SD cities, Davids’s “Black Hills Olowan” was featured in 2009 by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and the famed Porcupine Singers on a SDPB-TV network special. Davids’ work, Powwow Symphony (for Powwow M.C. and Orchestra), was premiered by New Mexico Symphony (1999) and Phoenix Symphony (2002) to rave reviews. Commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra, his Canyon Sunrise (1996) premiered at the Kennedy Center to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center and the 60th Anniversary of the NSO. Garrison Keillor asked Davids for an orchestra work, Prayer & Celebration (2005), that premiered on “A Prairie Home Companion” show in Indiana. Davids has also been commissioned by Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer, for Night Chant (1997), Mohican Soup (1999), and Un-Covered Wagon (2003). In 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts named Davids among the nation’s most celebrated choral composers in its project “American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius,” along with Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Foster, and 25 others.
Davids holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Composition from Northern Illinois University (1981) and Arizona State University (1992) respectively, trained at Redford’s Sundance Institute (1998), and in 2003 apprenticed with film composer Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare In Love) on the TV-Miniseries Dreamkeeper (Hallmark and ABC). He has garnered the Distinguished Alumni Awards from both of the universities he attended, NIU (1996) and ASU (2004), and has been nominated for the prestigious CalArts Alpert Award two times (1995, 2006). Davids has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS and NAPT. Davids’ film scores include: Valor's Kids (2011), Raccoon & Crawfish (2007), The 1920 Last of the Mohicans (2003), World of American Indian Dance (2003), The Business of Fancy Dancing (2002), The Silent Enemy (1996) & Bright Circle (2006).
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