joseph firecrow gift of the elk performance Home

Letter of Introduction

This website is to introduce you to a new composition for Native American flute and orchestra entitled The Gift of the Elk. It was commissioned by the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra and premiered by them in April of 2010, Maestro Jung-Ho Pak conducting. At the encouragement of Maestro Pak, I created a high-quality midi mock-up of the orchestra parts onto which the soloist, Joseph FireCrow, recorded his parts. The live performance featured the photography of Glenn Oakley, which is therefore included in the video of this work. At the premier in Hyannis Port, the combined visual effect of Joseph FireCrow dressed in full regalia, playing his beautiful instruments, against the backdrop of Glenn Oakley’s photographs and the full, symphonic orchestra, had a stunning effect.

The piece itself is based on the traditional story of how the Native American flute came to the Northern Cheyenne people. It is a simple tale with a profound message of receiving and returning those gifts that are given us by the universe. The composition begins and ends with a short, rousing movement called Powwow. After Powwow, the soloist speaks words of welcome, sings a welcome song, and then narrates the story, which is then re-told in music. The soloist plays various percussion instruments, narrates, sings, and plays a wide range of Native American flutes. For the soloist, it is a tour d’force. Though Joseph FireCrow performed the premier and is available for future performances, other Native American musicians can also perform this work. Glenn Oakley’s photographs are available for hire. The level of playing required of the orchestra is easy to moderate. The work is about 27 minutes duration. Other pages on this website describe the instrumentation, rental fees, and contact information.

In addition to the Vimeo link on this webpage, individual movements are viewable on YouTube, though I recommend the Vimeo link.

A DVD of this video is also available for prospective conductors.  To request a DVD simply send me an email at There is, of course, no charge.

I also have a pdf file of the full score available to download, free of charge, by posting a request at

I look forward to hearing from you.


- Jim Cockey