Euro Roots World Music


Meet Your Neighbors Folk Music (tm)

A small-setting cultural adventure in music and dance for all grade levels

“It was very gratifying for me to see so many people exposed to new instruments, music, and dances…”, said Anna Perea (Music Teacher, Adobe Acres Elementary School, Albuquerque, NM) about the Hi-Dukes assembly program at her school.

Awareness of the world, society, and history all increase when the Hi-Dukes introduce students to the traditional music and dance of over twenty cultures, such as that of the Balkan Gypsies.

“Jutta and the Hi-Dukes provided a fantastic musical performance. The show was very student-friendly and informative. Allowing the children to participate through singing, instrument playing, and dancing was a wonderful way to integrate essential multi-sensory activities within the audience experience. Thank you, APS Fine Arts, for sending us the Hi-Dukes!” wrote Mist Miller, (2012 Acting Principal at Tierra Antigua Elementary School), in the December 2012 edition of Fan Fare, the Albuquerque, NM school systems Fine Arts Department newsletter.

Gorgeous musical scales like Hijaz and Sabach ride on the asymmetrical rhythms of the Balkans while the Hi-Dukes play traditional ethnic instruments, like the Bulgarian end-blown flute, Greek baglama, Middle-eastern drums, and world-famous ocarina alongside the violin, mandolin, and guitar. Students learn dances, sing simple songs in non-English languages, and drum along on the bands percussion.

After seeing the Hi-Dukes do a four-day music and dance residency at the L.B. Johnson School, Jan Delgado (2012 Music Resource Teacher of the Albuquerque, NM Schools’ Fine Arts Departmen) described the Hi-Dukes program as “amazing” and arranged for the band to do a five-day series of assemblies because she was impressed with the bands “wholistic methods of teaching” which, as she pointed out, “incorporate so many different intelligences” and because she saw that Albuquerque students benefit from experiencing the incredible scales and rhythms of the Balkan music and dances the band presents. In promoting the program to the schools, she wrote: “They are exceptional folk dance teachers and the band is really good (especially with 7/8 and 9/4 meters!)


Since 1990, this Evanston, IL band has toured in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Two members, Jutta Distler and Terran Doehrer, are teachers at the Arcturus Teacher Training Program for Waldorf schools and taught dance classes at the Chicago Waldorf School for six years and at the Wauconda Da Vinci Waldorf School for four years.

In 2003, LACONI YSS (Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois Youth Services Section) included the Hi-Dukes in their “Best of the Best” list.

“It was happy, friendly, warm, and the kids loved participating. We succeeded in taking the children around the world, and we didn’t have to leave home.” So Mary Jo Ponce, then-director of the Chicago International Childrens Film Festival, summed up the Hi-Dukes music and dance program.

Flexible content focus and program length to fit your schools needs and interests.

Choose between Assemblies, Workshops, Residencies, and many other types of educational programing.

Workshops allow for greater exploration of a subject, and can be focused on specific areas of interest. With a repertoire of about 400 melodies and 50 dances from over twenty cultures, the Hi-Dukes can be very flexible with what can be presented.

A mixture of back-to-back Workshops and Assemblies, Residencies, Community Dances, and Afterschool events are all possible programming options.

Whether your school needs a group that can highlight your International Day activities or needs a program that focuses on a specific culture, we are happy to talk about how a Hi-Dukes presentation will enhance the educational experience of your students.

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