‘What I love to do’

Cellist debuts new works at national parks, visits schools

Navajo Times | Cindy Yurth
Michelle Kesler, a Brigham Young University music professor, talks with Chinle High students about music Sept. 27.

CHINLE

Cellist Michelle Kesler is originally from Gilbert, Arizona, so being artist-in-residence at two national parks here is something of a homecoming. But it’s also something of an adventure.

“I have family that live in Snowflake, which is not that far from here,” mused Kesler after performing for a music class at Chinle High on Sept. 27, “but I didn’t know much about Navajos, and I hadn’t spent much time on the reservation.”

In her weeklong stay last week, she soaked it up fast, going on moonlight hikes with the guides at Canyon de Chelly National Monument and living in the guest hogan at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. And even more by visiting the local institutions of education, Ganado and Chinle high schools, where there were many revealing moments with the students.

 


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Categories: Music

About Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at cyurth@navajotimes.com.