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Music Composition Academy – Crazy Horse Memorial


The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra invites you to be part of the Music Composition Academy! The Music Composition Academy will serve as a catalyst for community while teaching students to express their creativity and write original music. Daily music composition lessons and activities will be part of the Music Composition Academy with an emphasis on cultural understanding and finding human commonalities.

Participation Requirements

• Ages – high school (grades 9 – 12).
• Must have a desire to learn about music and music composition.
• Basic knowledge of reading music (can read music in either bass or treble clef or tablature, knowledge of note values, rhythm, dynamics, etc.).
• Can play a musical instrument reasonably proficiently.


• Students will be in residence at Crazy Horse Memorial from Sunday, August 13 – Saturday, August 19.
• Active participation in all academy events including private lessons in music composition.
• Participate in an evaluation process.


There is no cost to attend the Music Composition Academy. Students must be committed to attending all activities to participate. Students will be provided with lodging at Crazy Horse Memorial University as well as daily meals during the Music Composition Academy.

Academy Schedule

Students will have daily one-on-one composition lessons and at the conclusion of the music academy have a fully formed piece of music for either string quartet or wind quintet. Students will work and collaborate directly with the professional musicians of the SDSO who will give a public performance of their completed compositions.

August 2017 Academy Daily Schedule

7:45 Breakfast/Sign-in
8:15 Assembly
8:30 Study, Composing, Individual Lessons
11:30 Lunch
12:30 Composition Seminar (Topics include Music History, Music Theory)
1:30 Study, Composing, Individual Lessons
2:30 Break
3:00 Study, Composing, Individual Lessons
5:00 Dinner
Later Evening activities will be scheduled for the group each evening by the Resident Advisory

September 2017 Performance Schedule

September 8, 2017 Evening Rehearsal with the SDSO Dakota String Quartet (DSQ) and Dakota Wind Quintet (DWQ)

September 9 – 11, 2017 DSQ and DWQ performances
(Students are NOT required to attend all performances.)

How to Apply

• Complete application form and return to Sarah Burman-Schollmeyer at SDSO by June 5, 2017. The application can be found at
• Participate in an in-person interview with Jerod Tate on a date TBD.

Selection Process

Maestro Delta David Gier will choose the Academy participants. Participants will be announced by July 1, 2017. 8 participants will be chosen for the program.