Audio Arts Brings New Opportunities to Learn Music

A nonprofit group in Rapid City is trying something new in music education.

By Abigail Donnelly

A new organization in Rapid City is looking to create non-traditional opportunities for students to learn music outside of school.

The nonprofit organization, called Audio Arts, currently consists of five Rapid City musicians and educators, and their plans include a xylophone orchestra, where students will build their own xylophone, and a music lab that would be open to students, songwriters, and producers as a place to work and commune. These classes will take place at the Ursa Major venue.

“The main goal is to make the Rapid City music scene more alive and vibrant and to get young people exposed to professional musicians,” said Luke Gorder, an art teacher at Rapid City Central High School and one of the five people on the board for Audio Arts. Another goal is eventually to get these classes certified and provide a non-traditional music credit to students. According to Mr. Gorder, classes will most likely begin sometime next year.

When asked about the idea, Andrew Belsaas, who teaches multiple band classes at Central High School, said, “I think it is a great idea, and I hope that it reaches a group of students that traditional music classes wouldn’t reach.”

Audio Arts is relying heavily on fundraising and Ursa Major will be hosting a show on Wednesday, September 20th, with the band Best Coast to draw in potential sponsors and to help raise money.

Photo courtesy of Audio Arts