Native American Flute | St. Louis Public Radio

Native American Flute

Gary Gackstatter (at left) composed "Symphony Chaco: A Journey of the Spirit." Choral director Jim Henry  (at right) and renowned Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai are helping him bring the piece to the Touhill stage next week.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Jim Henry has yet to visit New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, the hallowed, high-desert landscape once home to ancestral Pueblo tribes. But the choral director has already fallen in love with the place, as have his music students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

That’s due to a new symphony inspired by Chaco from local composer Gary Gackstatter, who is a music professor at St. Louis Community College-Meramec. On Monday, April 23, about 200 singers and instrumentalists from UMSL and from STLCC will perform the symphony during a free concert at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center.

“When I [first] played this piece for my students, they just could not wait to get on the stage,” Henry told host Don Marsh this week on St. Louis on the Air.

Kaitlyn Petrin

Flute Flight is a duo performing Saturday in St. Louis that features the compatibility between conventional silver flutes and Native American style flutes.

ProPhoto STL / (Courtesy Autumn's Child)

Native American flutist Mark Holland has been performing with the ensemble Autumn's Child since 1995. The group’s music has been described as something of a “musical smoothie,” and Holland himself calls it “a delicious mix of various genres,” including Native American music, world music, jazz, classical and folk.