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Lakota Music Project to Perform at USD Oct. 21

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Bryan Akipa wearing Native American traditional dress. Bryan Akipa, who plays the Dakota flute, is a member of the Lakota Music Project.
VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota will host a concert by the renowned Lakota Music Project in the Slagle Hall Aalfs Auditorium on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
The renowned Lakota Music Project, in partnership with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO), will perform “Victory Songs,” featuring Emmanuel Black Bear, Ari Black Bear, John Eagle Shield, Jr., Bret Spoomhunter, Hanna Gasdia, Bryan Akipa and Stephen L. Bryant. Delta David Gier, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra director, will direct the concert.
The event is hosted in collaboration by the USD College of Fine Arts, Academic Affairs, Institute of American Indian Studies and Native American Cultural Center.
“The Lakota Music Project is an amazing artistic collaboration that interweaves cultures to create a truly unique musical experience, and we are thankful to be able to offer this concert at USD,” Bruce Kelley, Ph.D., College of Fine Arts dean, said. “It is a joy to work with such an extraordinary artistic organization—the SDSO is one of South Dakota’s jewels. USD’s College of Fine Arts prepares students for a life of amazing and rewarding experiences in art, music and theatre, and we are proud of our ongoing relationship with the SDSO.
For over 15 years, the SDSO’s Lakota Music Project has addressed racial tension by building cultural bridges between Native and non-Native Americans through sharing music together. The goal of the Lakota Music Project is to create an environment of openness between the two cultures to advance cultural understanding.
“Music helps to find similarities and commonalities between people, and now more than ever, those connections are increasingly important to everyone. We are looking forward to this event and toward continually building upon these kinds of associations,” said Kurt Hackemer, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News


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