Band-Lead Workshops 

Songwriting Workshop
Led by Paul Hunton, songwriter for Dust City Opera. Paul has been a performing songwriter for 18 years, with formal training from Oberlin and Berklee. Paul has written and composed dozens of recorded releases, from bluegrass to hard rock, and has transcribed and studied hundreds more modern works. 

Wind-players Workshop
Led by Clara Byom, clarinetist for Dust City Opera. With masters in Clarinet Performance and Musicology, Clara has forged a successful musical career as a versatile performer, composer, and arts administrator whose work stretches across multiple genres—from classical (new and old) to traditional folk, indie rock to electronic music. Here is an in-depth list of Clara’s workshop offerings. 

Brass-players Workshop:
Led by Travis Rourk, trombonist for Dust City Opera. Travis is a band instructor at the prestigious Albuquerque Academy, serving middle school and high school students, and received his music degree from UNM. Before joining the Academy, Travis was a Lead Teaching Artist with the Young Musician Initiative, an outreach program of the New Mexico Philharmonic. 

Percussionist Workshop:
Led by Jesse Culberson, drummer for Dust City Opera. In this workshop, Jesse will dig into what it takes to be a drummer in multiple genres—from grimy rock subgenres to hip hop to jazz. Known for his melodic approach to drum set, Jesse will teach young percussionists how to add nuance to a groove that supports their bandmates tastefully and creatively.

Music Business 101:
How to book shows, grow your fanbase, promote your music, and generate income. Led by Sydney Counce, music manager for Dust City Opera. Sydney received her business degree at UNM’s Anderson School of Management. She has 10+ years experience in business management, with a focus on project-, event-, and marketing-management.

Collaborative Activities 

Synesthesia: Where Sound Meets Canvas:
Frontman Paul Hunton’s songs are cryptic, complex, dark, and fantastical— plants coming to life, losing your memories, a woman turning into a mushroom, or falling in love as acid rain falls from the sky. The band discusses a song and plays it multiple times as participants transform the sounds and story into visual art on their canvas/paper with guidance from a local visual artist and educator.

This program requires additional supplies, as directed by the collaborating visual artist. We can promote this program at various creative arts spaces (galleries, etc).

Developing Your Sonic Identity:
An open format discussion with band members and local musicians to help them identify and highlight their unique strengths. This can be a collaborative workshop with class instructors, School of Rock, or other local youth music programs. 

Rock Band for a Day (for high-school students):
Dust City Opera visits high school music programs and gives the students an inside look into playing in a rock band. Since our band includes instruments found in typical band programs, we can easily create parts for the students to play along, stretch their skill set by facilitating and encouraging them to play off of charts they wouldn’t normally see in classroom settings, and more. By the end of the session, we’ll make a video together with the students performing with the band!

Local Musician Collaborations:
An opportunity to collaborate with local musicians on arrangements pre-performance, and invite them to join us on stage during our main performance. 

Q&A sessions:
Post-show question and answer session, generally immediately following the performance. 


Additional Community Engagements 

Acoustic performances (solo, duo):
Bringing our music to community members where they live, who cannot come to us for a performance, including senior living facilities, hospitals, shelters, etc.

Non-Musical Community Engagements:
Community service work with and for community members, including but not limited to food banking, public spaces clean-up, care package assembly, donation drives, and community organization and activism.  


For more information or to request an engagement activity in your community, please contact:

Sydney Counce
+1 (505) 488-8223