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Our journey with Russell Goodluck, the Musary's latest borrower...
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Branching Out

The Musary's Travels with Russell Goodluck


We would like you to meet Russell Goodluck, a young Native American composer & now a Musary borrower!  We first met Russell through a connection that was working with the NACAP (Native American Composers Apprenticeship Program).  The NACAP supports Native American high school students and was recently honored at the White House by the First Lady as a national winner of the Coming Up Taller Arts Education Awards.  She told us about a talented young musician that would be going to college soon but did not have the necessary musical instrument to continue his studies.  After talking with Russell and learning more about his story, we knew we had to help.



Russell is a member of the Navajo Nation, and has recently been awarded a scholarship to Fort Lewis College in Colorado to study music.  The Musary is honored to be able to provide Russell with the saxophone he needs to continue his education.  The instrument has since made it all the way to Arizona and is ready to start school on September 1st.  We will provide future updates along the way.

Looks like the Musary is going to college!

 

A Message from Russell

 
Dear Musary,
 
I am very excited to be a part of a wonderful and a very passionate program such as the Musary. 
 

I started with music back in Jr. High. I didn't know how to read notes or anything. I was simply a drummer, until I played a Native American flute. That's when I knew I wanted to be a musician. 
 
Later on as I went to high school I joined band but the music teacher said, "Nope you can't be a drummer this year we have way too many drummers." So he gave me a choice of being a woodwind instrument. I picked saxophone, the reason is because I liked how it sounded classically. 
 
I took 2 music classes for the four years I attended high school. In my sophomore year I joined a program called the Native American Composers Apprentice Program, NACAP for short. It's a program that involves Native American kids from the reservations to compose music for a world class string quartet: Ethel, and the Catalyst. Both are wonderful string quartet groups. 
 
After graduating high school I started touring with Ethel. Going from school to school, sharing my experiences and ideas with other students. During that tour we stopped in Moab, UT where Ethel was part of a music festival. There we played a song I wrote. The festival coordinator invited me to return as a solo artist and composer.
 
In August of 2013 I got back in contact with the festival and headed to Moab for two weeks.  It was after this festival that I knew I wanted to go back to school to get my degree in music education, tour, and participate in festivals. After my degree I will settle down back on the reservation and teach, and share my experiences with my students and tell them:  "This is how far music can take you. Or if you have a passion for something pursue it. You're the only one that can make it happen."
 
This is what i am planning to do, and The Musary will help me more then I could imagine. I love practicing my major instruments piano and saxophone, and this will be the icing on the cake. Thank you so much again for the chance to borrow this instrument.

Sincerely,
Russell Goodluck
"Sea Shore" - by Russell Goodluck

"Here's a link to a song I have played at three festivals so far. It's called "Sea Shore." the fx and the playing is all from my own personal Native American flute. I had the idea for this song when I was playing my flute down in a canyon in my home town. I thought of my cousin, who was off over seas. Both "Sea Shore" and "Unknown Sea" are dedicated to him and my older brother who also was over seas."  - Russell

Listen to this song and other pieces by Russell HERE.
So far, through its one-of-a-kind instrument lending program, The Musary has...
  • Lent over 200 instruments.
  • Reached 857 aspiring musicians.
  • Facilitated 802 borrowing terms.
  • Saved borrowers over $124,000.
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