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News Release

Date: October 25, 2007
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

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Montgomery College Music Students, Professor Collaborate with Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Native Composers in Concerts
Professor Dawn Avery and Student World Ensemble to Perform at Montgomery College, University of Maryland and the National Museum of the American Indian, Nov. 6-11

EDITORS: For images to accompany this release, click on these links: avery.jpg, ensemble.jpg, nakai.jpg.

The Montgomery College World Ensemble and its director, Music Professor Dawn Avery, will collaborate with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to premiere new musical compositions by Native American classical composers in concerts at Montgomery College, the University of Maryland and the National Museum of the American Indian, from November 6 to 11.

The music and the performances are part of the museum’s Classical Native program, which welcomes indigenous composers and performers from places as varied as Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico and Canada, who represent the American Indian Nations of the Choctaw, Mohawk Navajo, Mescalero Apache, and Odawa, to Washington, D.C. to perform contemporary classical compositions. This is the first year that both the Montgomery College World Ensemble and Professor Dawn Avery, who is of Mohawk heritage, have participated.

On Saturday, November 10, Professor Dawn Avery will present her own musical composition for cello, plus premiere works by composers Ron Warren, Tim Archambault and Raven Chacon. Avery will lead the performance by Tim Long, piano; Steven Alvarez, percussion; and the Montgomery College World Ensemble. The concert will take place at 3 p.m. in the Rasmuson Theater at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), located at 4th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C.

The Montgomery College World Ensemble and Dawn Avery will perform again on Sunday, November 11 at 1 p.m. at the NMAI’s Rasmuson Theater. The ensemble members sing and play violin, cello, harp, oboe, flute, bassoon and percussion. They will be joined by Grammy nominated musician R. Carlos Nakai on Native flutes and who will narrate contemporary indigenous poetry. Along with percussionist Steven Alvarez and Timothy Long, they will premiere a new musical composition by Dawn Avery, in collaboration with Nakai, which honors Native veterans for their service. The commission for this work is provided by The Paul Peck Institute for American Culture and Civic Engagement at Montgomery College.

In honor of the Classical Native program events, Montgomery College will hold its own World Arts Festival workshops and concerts to highlight the musical contributions of Native Americans. With assistance from the First Nations Composers Initiative Grant program, Dawn Avery will be premiering several new works scored for cello, voice and percussion by Tim Archambault, Raven Chacon, R. Carlos Nakai and Ron Warren. She will be joined by guest artists Tim Long and Steven Alvarez. The compositions vary in style from a pow wow stomp dance to contemporary electronica. A schedule of events follows:

  • Concert - Tuesday, November 6
    5:30 p.m.
    University of Maryland
    Gildenhorn Recital Hall
    Information at 301-405-ARTS

  • Workshop - Wednesday, November 7
    10 a.m.
    Featuring Native American composers Tim Archambault, Dawn Avery and Raven Chacon
    Montgomery College
    Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus
    Black Box Theatre, located in the Communication Arts Center
    Chicago and Philadelphia Avenues
    Takoma Park, Md.

  • Concert – Wednesday, November 7
    8 p.m.
    Montgomery College
    Rockville Campus
    Music Recital Hall, located in the Music Building
    51 Mannakee Street
    Rockville, Md.

For a detailed listing of concerts at Montgomery College, visit or call 240-567-5209.

For information about the concerts at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, visit or call 202-633-1000.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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