Big city orchestras premiere Tate music; dance troupe performs
April 16, 2020
DALLAS, Texas – February was a busy month for Chickasaw classical music composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate and six members of the Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra premiered Tate's "Ghost of the White Deer," a concerto for bassoon and orchestra, Feb. 13-16. Tate is Chickasaw, an Emmy Award-winner and Oklahoma City resident.
The concerto was performed at Dallas' Morton Meyerson Symphony Center and featured the orchestra's principal bassoonist Ted Soluri.
Tate's composition was commissioned by Soluri with generous support by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principal Chair Endowment Program.
"It is a dream come true to write a new piece, commissioned by and for my dear friend and fellow Cleveland Institute of Music alumni Ted Soluri. I am honored to have the Dallas Symphony Orchestra premiere this work," Tate said.
"It is a thrill to premiere Jerod's newest repertoire for the classical concert stage. It's a dramatic and beautiful work and brings out the best in my bassoon playing," said Soluri.
The concerto is inspired by the romantic legend of an ancient Chickasaw warrior acquiring a sacred white deer to win permission from the tribal leader for his daughter's hand in marriage, Tate explained.
On Feb. 29, the San Francisco Symphony performed Tate's "Spider Brings Fire" with six Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe members also taking part in the performance to illustrate Chickasaw heritage and culture.
The Tate piece was part of the San Francisco Symphony's Music for Families "Out West" concert series, which celebrated American Indian music, ancient rhythms, musical storytelling and the western landscape and traditions.
Several members of the dance troupe traveled to California to perform onstage and as part of the pre-concert youth music education activities at San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall.
Troupe members included Jesse Lindsey, Cotie Underwood, Wayne Walker, Courtney Parchcorn, Tayler Alexander and Jayden Martinez. They performed before the concert to an audience of approximately 2,000 with stomp dancing. Lindsey performed on American Indian flute and led stomp dance singing.
"Spider Brings Fire" is based on the ancient Chickasaw story of how a small but heroic spider brought essential fire to mankind.
"Backed by the full power of the San Francisco Symphony and conducted by Erina Yashima, the piece soared with energy and passion. Jerod's storytelling held the audience spellbound. The dancers entered the stage to add even more Chickasaw cultural content to the music and narration. They danced and sang their way across the front of the stage and received a rousing ovation. Jerod also sang a special Chickasaw melody, 'Hymn 47a.' A highlight was Jerod leading a call and response 'Garfish Song' in the Chickasaw language, which had the audience enthusiastically singing along," said David Lynn Kinney, a California Chickasaw citizen who attended the show.
Tate is a dedicated American Indian classical composer and pianist who expresses his First American culture in symphonic music, ballet and opera. All of his compositions have been commissioned by major North American orchestras, ensembles and organizations, and his works are performed throughout the world.
He is a three-time commissioned recipient from American Composers Forum, a Chamber Music America commission recipient, a Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni Achievement Award recipient, a governor-appointed Creativity Ambassador for the State of Oklahoma and a 2011 Emmy Award winner.
His commissioned works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Canterbury Voices, VocalEssence, Colorado Ballet, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and Santa Fe Desert Chorale.