It took five attempts to get the Grand Canyon designated a National Park. Proponents tried in 1882, 1883, 1886, 1910 and 1911. It wasn’t until 1919 that the U.S. Senate saw sense and officially declared this extraordinary place a national treasure for all to share, forever…
The Grand Canyon holds such a sacred place in the imaginations of Americans, it’s hard to think what the hold up was!
“The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison—beyond description; absolutely unparalleled through-out the wide world. … what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 1903
We can only be thankful for the wisdom that finally prevailed, and that Grand Canyon National Park is here, preserved for us, the “children” Theodore Roosevelt spoke of.
The Grand Canyon Music Festival was born in this remarkable place in 1983. We look back with gratitude and humility on 35 years of music making (over one-third of the park’s existence!) as we head into the Centennial year of Grand Canyon National Park.
Thirty-five years of outstanding artists, commissions of new music inspired by the Grand Canyon, award-winning education programming like the Native American Composer Apprentice Project, celebrations of American and new music, all made possible by the Grand Canyon community, dedicated and generous artists, and friends throughout the United States, like you, who have been there, believing in and supporting our work.
As one of our visitors told us this year,
“I love this music festival!”
So do we, and we suspect you do, too.
• Special performances in June during Grand Canyon National Park’s Centennial SummerFest, from June 22nd to June 29th
• Revivals of some of our past commissioned works
• And, of course, the Native American Composer Apprentice Project and School of Rock education programs.
Robert Bonfiglio, Founding Director and Clare Hoffman, Artistic Director
– JW Powell
“Entering Storm / Grand Canyon” © 2019 Ed Mell