On Monday, April 2nd at Northwest Indian College, student Terry Williams and Native Pride Music Club is hosting an event: “Finding your voice through music”. Students and community members will be able to find a form of self-expression. During this daylong event we will special guest speakers Gyasi Ross and Rodney Outlaw. This is the official grand opening of the new music, creative space, where students can come and feel free to pick up an instrument or use a computer to make music and art. We will also have workshops, and an open-mic jam session to close out the day. We extend this invitation to musical professionals and community musical related groups as well to come and be part of the event.
My name is Gaby Salazar and I work at Northwest Indian College as a TRIO academic support coach. I would like to introduce you to Terry Williams, a freshman at Northwestern Indian College (NWIC) who has a passion for the art of rapping. Terry believes that music impacted him as a native youth as a means of healing. Rap is an outlet that allows him to express inner emotions otherwise kept trapped inside. Upon his arrival to NWIC Terry noticed that there was a need for a music program at our institution. He had been using the computers in the library to create his rap by means of his self-taught music production skills. I encouraged him to take action and he helped create the “Native Pride Music Club” of which I am the staff advisor. Immediately, the music club began to gather students. To support our students, I have loaned my collection of musical instruments (via my hometown of Walla Walla) to the club for as long as I am employed through Northwest Indian College.
A grant opportunity for the Lannan Scholar Project through the American Indian College Fund was passed along to Terry by an NWIC advisor. Terry applied to create a project as an impact to the community. Terry proposed the event: “Finding your voice through music” because as a high school student he had attended a leadership conference that taught him to use music to find his voice and provide a means of healing. He was awarded the grant and we were able to makeshift a small recording studio with the essentials: a computer, monitors, microphone, and audio interface and funding to put on a community event.
With the help of two musical professionals, Rodney Outlaw and Gyasi Ross, Terry’s hope is that community members walk away with a new appreciation for music. The morning guest is Rodney Outlaw, a music producer and hip-hop artist currently residing in Walla Walla, Washington. He will be teaching about recording techniques, as well as mic and studio monitor calibration. Our afternoon guest, Gyasi Ross, is an author, speaker, storyteller and hip-hop artist. He comes from the Blackfeet Nation and resides on the Port Madison Indian Reservation near Seattle. Gyasi will be speaking and conducting a writing workshop for students to use writing as a way of self-expression. It is a great honor to have these two gentlemen at our Northwest Indian College campus.
Please come and visit us on April 2nd for all or any part of the day to share Terry’s vision of strengthening our community voice through music. We are also accepting donations in forms of musical instruments, books, lessons, piano tuner, volunteer lesson instructors, and invitations to musical events.