The Musical Play, Navajo Night Song

When Dorothy Stevenson met the artist Quincy Tahoma, she was a young woman and he made a big impression on her. Later, as an adult, she became a teacher at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe and eventually wrote a musical play based loosely on Tahoma’s life.

Entitled Navajo Night Song, the musical was performed at the Greer Garson Theater at St. Michael’s school for three nights in 1977. In the play, the Tahoma-like central character was married and lost a baby son. Yet, in more than 12 years of research into Tahoma’s life, we never found evidence that he had married or had a child.

Can you shed any light on this perplexing subject? Do you know anything about the production of Navajo Night Song in 1977 in Santa Fe?

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8 Responses to The Musical Play, Navajo Night Song

  1. Allan N Pearson says:

    I was the producer and director of the world premiere production of “Navajo Night Song.” Dorothy Stevenson wrote the libretto and Thurman Dillard composed the music. We rented the Greer Garson Theater onn the (then) College of Santa Fe campus. St. Michael’s HS had nothing to do with it.
    Allan N Pearson

  2. Allan N Pearson says:

    Dillard’s score was piano/vocal only and the music had to be orchestrate and I hired another Santa Fe composer to do the orchestration and he, John Secina (sp.?) also conducted the orchestra and chorus.

  3. Allan N Pearson says:

    John Scecina is the correct spelling.

  4. Allan N Pearson says:

    In Stevenson’s book for the musical play, Tahoma was not married, but had an anglo girlfriend who was in love with him and there was no child.

  5. Allan N Pearson says:

    Errata above:
    The Greer Garson Theatre is on the(then)College of Santa Fe campus, though our production was totally independent of the College’s Drama Department and we simply rented their facility.

  6. Allan N Pearson says:

    Dear Charnell,
    many thanks for the “Navajo Night Song” materials which I received on Monday, 11/28/11. Please let me know what I owe you and I will send you a personal check.
    “Thunderbird Theatre” was made up/coined by Dorothy Stevenson to make her libretto known as she tried to gather support for her work to get it produced and performed. We never used the term for the world premiere which I produced and directed.

    The stapled 10 page section is actually a xerox copy of the complete original program which audience members received. It was all in blue ink/print printed on high quality white paper and designed by me.
    I hope to find some people in the cast who might still have an original.
    Dorothy’s complete libretto was her original, and with her permission, it was substantially edited and adapted for the production by the two of us. For example, the role of Catherine, a non-singing role, was completely removed, as were the three ballet sections. We could not afford a choreographer or five dancers and a dance ensemble. So that was all eliminated as well.
    You can see in the Acknowledgements section of the program that the College of Santa Fe Drama Department, and St. Michaels High School were not mentioned because they had absolutely nothing to do with the world premiere production.

    If you have questions, let me know, and again many thanks for this material. Allan Pearson

  7. Erika Atkinson says:

    I am pleasantly surprised to see that Navajo Night Song has come to light once more. I was John Scecina’s wife, Erika, and I have often wondered where the score ended up, as I would love a copy of it in memory of him. If there are old audio tapes available, I would be happy to buy one. John passes away in April of 2000. Thank you very much.

  8. Allan Pearson says:

    This reply is for Erika Atkinson. To the best of my knowledge/recollection, no audio recording was ever made of the production; we didn’t do things like that in those days and besides, we would have had no money for it. All the musical parts would have been xerox copies of John Scecina’s handwritten work, and John would have retained his original orchestration work which must have been in his possession at home somewhere.
    By chance I bumped into Karen Wells this past week who sang/acted the young female
    lead in the production. We hadn’t seen one another since the late 70s, over 35 years ago.

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