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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Cherokee National Youth Choir to perform with Oak Ridge Boys
by Brandi Ball World Scene Writer
Earlier this year, they shared a stage with country superstar Vince Gill. This time, the Cherokee National Youth Choir is ready to perform with legends.

Opening for the Oak Ridge Boys on Thursday at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, the choir will perform "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Lean on Me." The groups will share the stage for an encore of "Elvira."

On Jan. 15, in front of a sold-out crowd at The Joint, the youth choir joined Gill in a rendition of "Go Rest High on That Mountain."

"It is a great leadership exercise when our youth get the opportunity to perform on stage with such well-known talent, especially when our youth are performing in Cherokee," Chad Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, said in a statement. "This is another opportunity for our youth choir to see the production and witness a performance of such great magnitude."

Since 1973, the Oak Ridge Boys have released 27 studio albums, including 11 that have peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard country music charts. The band has released 56 singles, including 17 No. 1 hits as well as an additional 15 tracks that have reached the top 10.

Throughout its career, the band has crossed formats multiple times. In 1977, the Oak Ridge Boys sang backup on the Paul Simon hit "Slip Slidin' Away," and in 2009, the band covered the White Stripes' hit "Seven Nation Army" for their most recent release, "The Boys Are Back."

They have performed with legends like Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Bill Monroe, George Jones and Shooter Jennings.

Tickets for Thursday's performance are still available for Thursday's 8 p.m. performance and start at $35.

The choir, which is made up of more than 50 Cherokee youth from northeastern Oklahoma, performs traditional Cherokee songs in the Cherokee language.

"We translated 'Go Rest High On that Mountain,' and included it on our 2008 CD, 'For our Future,' Henderson told the World in January. "(The song) includes Cherokee sentiment and translated into our language easily. It immediately became a favorite."

Students compete in rigorous auditions every year to become a part of the choir, and members are in junior high and high school.

According to the Cherokee Nation's website, Smith helped establish the group in 2000 as a way to keep the culture and language alive for the next generation.

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