Northwest Indian College TRiO Student Terry Williams hosted “Finding Your Voice Through Music” on Monday, April 2nd. Terry is an incoming Freshman who has a vision to impact the NWIC Lummi campus with music. In January 2018, Williams was awarded The American Indian College Fund Lannan Scholar Project grant. The funds were used to purchase a computer, audio interface, condenser mic, monitors, headphones, software, and bring guest speakers in for the event.
“Finding Your Voice Through Music” was an all-day event that started with a grand opening and ribbon cutting with an honor song by Randy Tippins and Thomas Fantasia. Next, Rodney Outlaw, who is a sound engineer veteran in the music industry, conducted a workshop about effectively using audio. Students were exposed to how the music industry works and taught how to properly record music. Rodney and his music industry colleague, Marcus Ward, facilitated the set-up of the Music Club’s new recording studio.
As the day progressed many students staff, faculty and visitors gathered together for lunch in the Log Building. NWIC student, Yakaiyastai Gorman blessed the wonderful food that was prepared by Noelani Bumatay Jefferson, Tierra Rabang, and RaeAnna Rabang of the Three Sisters Canoe Family.
The afternoon guest, Gyassi Ross, member of the Blackfeet tribe, is an advocate and inspirational speaker. He brought in an excited crowd of students, staff, and community members. He spoke of his triumphs and tribulations that allowed him to become who he is today. Gyassi spoke of the need for youth to have strong leaders in their presence “without a strong visual cue, we continue to walk in circles,”. As the presentation came to an end students were encouraged to present a goal and daily habits that will allow them to effectuate their vision.
The day ended with and open-mic session for students and community members to showcase their work. Seven audience members took turns and recited poetry, told stories, played songs on drums, and one participant shared a deep story accompanied by a moving flute song.
“Finding Your Voice Through Music” attracted approximately fifty people as we jumped back into the spring quarter. Thank you so much for the support from everyone at Northwest Indian College and the surrounding Lummi Nation community.