Graduate Student Receives Grant for Indigenous Music Project

Sophia Rivera

Doctor of Music Arts student Sophia Rivera was named winner of the Student of the Arts grant from the Manitoba Arts Council.

Rivera’s project, the “Metis Song Book for Euphonium,” is a significant and commendable initiative to celebrate Indigenous music and her Metis community’s cultural heritage through the medium of the euphonium. The project’s goal of creating a music book that follows the traditional structure of a methods book, starting with accessible music and progressing in difficulty, is not only an important contribution to the world of music education but also a meaningful step in recognizing and preserving Indigenous musical traditions.

Rivera’s efforts to address the lack of representation of her community’s music in mainstream music are both culturally significant and educational.

“The music community that I have known does not recognize my identity and it has been difficult to demonstrate the music of my culture because there have not been enough accessible musical examples,” said Rivera. “I hope that this project helps young Indigenous players to feel more seen in the euphonium community and helps them to connect their personal identities with the world of euphonium music.”

By providing accessible musical examples and resources, this project can help young Indigenous players connect with their personal identities and introduce their peers to the rich heritage of Indigenous music.

Moreover, the support from the Manitoba Arts Council is essential in making such projects possible. By funding initiatives that promote arts and culture, organizations like the Manitoba Arts Council contribute to the enrichment and diversity of cultural expression, benefitting not only the individuals involved but also the broader community.

Rivera hopes that this book will show that there is a space for Indigenous peoples to play their cultural music on any instrument and to provide an opportunity to share that music and culture with their peers. Her project is a testament to the power of the arts to promote cultural understanding, inclusivity, and the preservation of heritage, and it has the potential to make a meaningful impact in the world of music and beyond.

The Manitoba Arts Council funds the creation and sharing of arts and culture for the benefit of all Manitobans.

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