Music: Native American school band rocks the oldies--and the ancients
But today all-Indian high school bands are rare, said Georgia Wettlin-Larsen, director of the First Nations Composer Initiative. Musical education, beyond culturally-based drumming and singing, is almost nonexistent in tribal schools, she said.
Cournoyer worked with Yellow Fat to as she wrote sheet music for an ancient Lakota song so her student band could play it. The song, “The Land You Fear,” which originated before Columbus landed in the Americas, had not been written down before, like much indigenous music.
Below: "North Dakota’s Standing Rock High School Band performs on the back of a flatbed truck." (Courtesy of Kim Cournoyer)