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A music collaboration between the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and leaders of the Lakota community

The Lakota Music Project was created between 2005 and 2008 through a collaboration between the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and leaders of the Lakota community. It is a practical demonstration between white and Native American musicians to advance cultural understanding. The Lakota Music Project strives to create an environment of openness through the fusion and collaborative performance of music of both cultures. The first Lakota Music Project programs included music written for the full symphony orchestra and the Creekside Singers (a Lakota drumming group). The repertoire has expanded over the last ten years to include Lakota flute, solo Lakota singer and hand drum collaborating with full and chamber orchestra, string quartet and wind quintet. 

Musicians from the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra will present the SDSO’s renowned Lakota Music Project in residence in Washington D. C. October 16 – 21, 2019, along with two Native American Music Award winning artists: singer Emmanuel Blackbear (Lakota) and cedar flutist Bryan Akipa (Dakota). They are joined by SDSO Music Director Delta David Gier, professor emeritus of American Indian Studies at Black Hills State University, Ronnie Theisz, and Lakota elder Chris Eagle Hawk. Together, they will represent the South Dakota Symphony and the Lakota Music Project as musical ambassadors for the state of South Dakota.

This is the first time South Dakota Symphony Orchestra musicians and the Lakota Music Project have performed outside of South Dakota. The Washington, D. C. residency includes a series of concerts featuring the Dakota String Quartet, Dakota Wind Quintet and combined as the Lakota Music Project. The programs will include facilitated conversations about classical music inspired and performed by Native Americans.  Visit the South Dakota Symphony Lakota Music Project