Native Village
Youth and Education news
March 1, 2010     Volume 4


ETHEL records album of works by Chickasaw Nation students
Condensed by Native Village

Oklahoma:  ETHEL is America’s premier postclassical string quartet. They bring workshops, tours, and performances to children on American Indian reservation. They are also involved with the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project.

ETHEL recently announced the recording of a new album by 11 American Indian students composers, ages 13-19, from the Chickasaw Nation. Slated for a summer 2010 release, the album features modern classical works by students of renowned composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. Tate is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and is his tribe's official composer-in-residence.

“ETHEL has an unbelievable ability to express multiple styles of expression at the drop of a hat,” Tate said. “This will be a life-changing experience for these young composers.”

The new album is on the Thunderbird Records label. The project is one of the groundbreaking initiatives created by the Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities.

“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,” explained 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 performed by professional musicians.”

The 11 students will participate in all aspects of the album’s recording.

“During the recording session, the composition students will be with me in the control room to co-produce the session," said Alan Bise, producer/owner of Thunderbird Records. "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.”

Thunderbird Records will hold an artwork contest to help determine the album’s cover.

animated graphics: Heather's Animations

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