Solstice Flute School finds a new home
June 14, 2016
The annual Solstice Native Flute School has a new home this year at the Homestead Resort in Midway, and Director Nancy Haga is elated.
"The Homestead is an amazing space," Haga said during an interview with The Park Record. "The venue is private and the lawn, which is available for the drum circle and concerts, is spectacular."
The Solstice Native Flute School will run from Monday, June 20, to Thursday, June 23. Registration is $395 and is open to the public, according to Haga.
"The theme this year is ‘Where Passion Meets Purpose,’ she said. "Anyone — people who don’t know how to play the flute or haven’t ever touched one, to people who are masters — can come and learn from some of the finest flute recording artists in the country."
Those artists are Suzanne Teng, Arvel Bird, Joe Young and Kalani Das.
"All it requires is for you to wiggle your fingers and breathe because there isn’t any music to read," Haga said about the classes. "We have a few spaces left and we would love people to join us."
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Classes start at 9 a.m. every morning and will be designed around the abilities of the students, according to Haga.
"In the afternoon we will feature healing aspects of the instruments and then there will be buddy groups where the teachers take a group of students to create performances," she said. "They will show off and compete against each other."
In addition to the classes, an array of workshops will focus on the use of the Native American flute and music therapy.
"During the evenings, we’ll have other activities including a solstice ceremony performed by medicine woman Juanita Ramos-Corum, a drum circle and an acoustic healing session with sound instruments," Haga said.
The sessions will wrap up with a concert under the stars on June 23 at 7:30 p.m.
"The idea for the concert is that we want to give a gift back to the community," Haga said. "We hate to keep all of the talent from our teachers all to ourselves, so we’re going to showcases the teachers. And the audience will get to hear this phenomenal, ethereal music."
The concert, which costs $20 to attend, isn’t the end of the festivities.
"We will also host a Native American healing workshop on Friday, June 24," Haga said. The workshop, which runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., costs $44 and sessions will feature Ramos-Corum, flutist Bird and Kalani Das, who teaches music therapy.
"Kalani used to be the drummer for Yanni and has taken up the Native American flute and has come up with a series of tutorials," Haga explained.
A portion of the concert and workshop proceeds will be donated to Peace House, a local nonprofit that helps victims of domestic violence, she said.
"They have done so much for the community and we wanted to give them something in return," Haga said.
The Solstice Native Flute School started in Park City four years ago at Newpark Resort.
"We then moved to the Peaks two years ago, but since they are going through a major renovation, we couldn’t use their facilities this year," Haga said. "That’s when the Homestead, whom I’ve had my eye on although it was out of my budget, came to our rescue. They said they would honor whatever we were paying at the Peaks."
The Homestead is the perfect place to host the school because of the size of its facilities.
"People, I think, are getting into creating this music, because it’s truly the music of the soul," Haga said. "There is a growth in popularity because the instrument doesn’t require any musical background. It’s a way for your soul to sing by exhaling and moving fingers.
"Yes, you can read music if you want, but you can go out and play to the horizon, the animals or the water and totally connect with nature," she said. "The flute is also portable. You can just grab it and take it with you."
Playing the Native American flute puts Haga into a different state of mind.
"To me it’s self meditative and self medicating, because of the healing aspects," she said. "Many of us use the instrument in hospice. It has a way to put people at ease, and that’s needed in this stress-filled world."
The Annual Solstice Flute School, which will be held June 20 to 23 at the Homestead Resort in Midway, is currently accepting registration. For more information or to register, visit http://www.solsticeflutefest.com or call Nancy Haga at 435-513-5999.