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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Album Contains Work By Chickasaw Nation Student Composers
by Ada (OK) Evening News

ADA — America's premier postclassical string quartet, ETHEL, recently announced the recording and creation of a new album of contemporary classical works by 11 American Indian students (ages 13-19) of the Chickasaw Nation. Slated for a Summer 2010 release on the Thunderbird Records label, the album is the first in history to release works of American Indian student composers (students of composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, a citizen of and official composer-in-residence of the Chickasaw Nation). The recording session will take place Jan. 22-24 at Oklahoma City University's Wanda L. Bass School of Music.

The recording project is made possible by the Chickasaw Nation and Gov. Bill Anoatubby, and is part of the ongoing groundbreaking initiatives created by the Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities. ETHEL has brought several workshops, tours, and performances to hundreds of children of American Indian reservations over the ensemble's 11-year history, both as part of ETHEL's TruckStop® project, as well as in its role as Ensemble-in-Residence as part of the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project (NACAP). Collectively, these experiences add an essential ingredient to the album.

"We've been so enriched by the people, cultures, and sounds we've experienced over the years that we feel utterly compelled to share them through music," said Ralph Farris, violist for ETHEL. "By working with young Native composers who have written music for string quartet, we give these children a chance to hear their music be performed by professional musicians."

"ETHEL has an unbelievable ability to express multiple styles of expression at the drop of a hat. This will be a lifechanging experience for these young composers," said composer Jerod Tate. All 11 students actively participate in all aspects of the album's recording from start to finish.

According to Alan Bise, producer/owner of Thunderbird Records, it is imperative that these students are involved in every possible way.

"During the recording session, the composition students will be with me in the control room to co-produce the session. That is, they will discuss with ETHEL how they'd like their music to be performed, and what kind of feeling they are trying to convey. During classical recording sessions, we do not often get to collaborate with living composers, so the student's involvement brings extra meaning to this recording." Also, in conjunction with the Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities, Thunderbird Records will hold an artwork contest to help determine the album's cover – whether it's a painting, drawing, or photograph.



Acclaimed as America's premier postclassical string quartet, ETHEL boldly infuses contemporary concert music with fierce intensity, questioning the boundaries between performer and audience, tradition and technology. Formed in 1998, New York's ebullient ETHEL is comprised of Juilliard-trained performers Cornelius Dufallo (violin), Ralph Farris (viola), Dorothy Lawson (cello) and Mary Rowell (violin).

Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate
Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate was born in 1968 in Norman, Oklahoma and is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. Mr. Tate is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition, and a recent review by The Washington Post states that "Tate's connection to nature and the human experience was quite apparent in this piece…rarer still is his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism." This review was a response to a recent performance of Iholba (The Vision), for Solo Flute, Orchestra and Chorus, which was commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Thunderbird Records
Thunderbird Records is dedicated to capturing and preserving the music of contemporary American Indians for distribution across the world. All Thunderbird releases include music by Indian composers or performances by Indian musicians. We strive for the highest artistic integrity as well as exceptional sonic quality in order to provide an outstanding listening experience.

Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities
The study of the arts and humanities is necessary to the success of the Chickasaw Nation. The disciplines highlight the culture by expressing the beauty, strength, intelligence and spirit of the people and enhance the rich legacy of who Chickasaws were, who they are and who they will be.

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