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Lakota Music Project

Phase II: 2012-2016

The goal of Phase II of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra’s (SDSO) Lakota Music Project (LMP) was to reach additional South Dakota reservations and communities, partner with like-minded organizations to increase the scope and depth of the program, and continue to foster relationships with existing partners. Phase II included a partnership with the South Dakota Humanities Council, a second tour to Crazy Horse Memorial and performances in Pierre, Eagle Butte, Sisseton, and Mobridge as well as the fourth commissioned work, Pentatonic Fantasy, a cedar flute concerto written by Jeffrey Paul in collaboration with Bryan Akipa.


The four initiatives of Phase II include:


1. Addition of a new collaborator – the South Dakota Humanities Council.

The South Dakota Humanities Council partnered with the SDSO on two projects featuring the LMP – the New Harmonies Project and the Festival of Books. The LMP opened the New Harmonies Project tour with a performance in Sturgis followed by a concert in Sioux Falls. Both concerts featured the World Premiere of the third LMP commissioned work, a song-cycle for baritone and orchestra, sung in Lakota, composed by American Indian Composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate titled Waktégli Olówaŋ (Victory Songs). Waktégli Olówaŋ is a five-movement work in which each movement honors a Lakota warrior (Red Cloud, Gall, Crazy Horse, Two Strike, and Sitting Bull).


2. Continued collaboration with Crazy Horse Memorial.

After the first successful LMP performance at Crazy Horse Memorial in 2010, Phase II included the production of a second LMP performance at Crazy Horse for Native American Day (October 8, 2012.)


3. Tour of the original LMP to new South Dakota Native American reservations and communities.

The South Dakota Symphony’s final performances of Phase II of the LMP was a tour to four South Dakota cities/reservations – Pierre, Eagle Butte, Sisseton, and Mobridge.

Jeffrey Paul wrote the fourth commissioned work for the LMP, the cedar flute concerto Pentatonic Fantasy, in collaboration with Dakota cedar flutist Bryan Akipa which had its premiere in October 2013 in Akipa’s home reservation in Sisseton. Subsequent performances of the piece were at Crazy Horse and then again at the Multi-Cultural Center in Sioux Falls.


4. Bring the LMP to the Symphony’s Mainstage Concert Series

The Lakota Music Project was featured on the 2015-16 SDSO mainstage series at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls in tandem with musicologist Joseph Horowitz’s “Dvorak and America” program supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Following the Sioux Falls concert, the program was performed in Sisseton on the Lake Traverse Reservation in March of 2016.