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Music in the American Wild wraps up national parks tour

August 24, 2016

It began a few years back, as a walk in the park—literally. When Eastman graduates Dan Ketter and Emlyn Johnson found themselves surrounded by the sounds and the beauty of nature, standing in the middle of Letchworth State Park, they started to imagine what it might be like to play music there.

To their surprise, they couldn’t find anything like it having been done before. With the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service, it seemed like the perfect time to remedy that. So they started contacting national parks to gauge their interest in having a group of musicians come play concerts and make recordings on site. It was an unusual request, but it was met with enough support and enthusiasm that they decided to turn it into a tour that would take them across the country.

Music in the American Wild
A project of Eastman School of Music students and alumni is bringing newly composed works to majestic locations during the National Park Service’s centennial year celebrations.

They contacted some of their other Eastman connections to work on composing all new music, and then other musicians to perform with them. From there, things just started to fall into place.

With these new compositions, inspired by nature and the parks themselves, they set out on a journey that took them from caverns to mountain tops, and all sorts of other places in between. With seven musicians, playing the work of eleven composers in ten different parks from the east coast to the west, it became a unique way to draw in new audiences, and to experience the beauty of the natural world around them, along with the music that it inspired.

You can learn more about their tour, and see photos and videos from the national park performances on the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/musicintheamericanwild/

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Category: The Arts