It is back with a twang! The much awaited Grand Canyon Music Festival presents its 29th season, from Aug. 24-Sept. 8, at three much loved venues – the Shrine of the Ages, South Rim, and the Grand Canyon National Park. This musical extravaganza will bring world-renowned artists to Arizona in an effort to promote musical appreciation, improve outreach and offer educational programs in rural and underserved Arizona communities, at very, very affordable prices.
The Grand Canyon Music Festival was founded in 1983, and has since then seen tremendous growth both in participation and reception. It has also led to the incorporation of the Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP), currently in its 12th season offering music education programs at Navajo and Hopi Reservation schools, and also the School of Rock for students at Grand Canyon Unified Schools, which is currently in its 5th season. The Grand Canyon School of Rock is a week-long, education program developed with Grand Canyon Music Festival musicians that aims to provide GCS students a unique opportunity to experience and explore band life and dynamics. Since its inceptions, the festival has been serving Native American communities such as the Navajo, Hopi, Havasupai, and Pima Indian Reservations, as well as the Heard Museum and Scottsdale Community College.
This three week musical event perfectly showcases the vast diversity of chamber music by effectively showcasing all its nuances in a natural environmental setting. Concerts take place every weekend with ETHEL, America’s leading postclassical string quartet all set to take center stage on the opening weekend Friday and Saturday, the 24-25th of August. ETHEL was founded in 1998 in New York and features Ralph Farris on viola and Dorothy Lawson on cello, and Kip Jones and Tema Wastein on the violin.
In the Second weekend on August 30th, ETHEL will be joined by other premier musical performances by Robert Bonfiglio on harmonica, Joe Deninzon on violin and Stephen Benson on guitar. The 31st sees performances by the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s School of Rock with Bonfiglio Group members Bonfiglio, Benson, and Deninzon at the Shrine of the Ages. Also on the 31st are performances by Catalyst Quartet with special guests ETHEL and bassist Trevor Reed, featuring Osvaldo Golijov’s nonet Last Round, homage to Piazzolla.
September 1st kicks off with Richard Einhorn’s octet, “The Silence.” You can also partake in pre-concert discussion with Richard Einhorn and learn about his relentless and inspirational works for the hearing impaired. September 2 hosts a day long fair for students, families, and the community with the new music ensemble ETHEL and the Catalyst Quartet at the Grand Canyon Community Building, and also see a concert by the NACAP’S students at 4pm.
The final weekend, the 7th and 8th of September, has an amazing lineup with performances by operatic legends Kirk Dougherty and Cabiria Jacobsen, mezzo-soprano Jacobsen and tenor Dougherty, Jon Klibonoff on piano and Clare Hoffman on flute. Experience the classic operatic works of Purcell, Handel, Britten, Gershwin, and Porter as presented by Kirk Dougherty and Cabiria Jacobsen, and lose yourself in the “Art of Song” which includes beautiful compositions from Baroque masters to contemporary classics.
Tickets are priced at $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 6 and up. Grab a season pass for all seven concerts while you can, all at an unbelievable price of $90. For a complete itinerary, visit the official site for more information.