From news release:
Oklahoma student compositions to be performed at Kennedy Center
Three students from Oklahoma will soon hear their classical music compositions performed by a professional string quartet at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Wyas Parker, Courtney Parchcorn and Kate Duty, all of the Ada area, were selected for the unique opportunity for works they composed during the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy.
Bill Anoatubby, Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, said he is very pleased to see these young people have this kind of opportunity.
"We developed the arts academy to help young people explore new possibilities and gain confidence in their own abilities," said Gov. Anoatubby. "This is just the kind of experience that can inspire these students, and others, to pursue their dreams."
The Ambrosia Quartet will play the compositions at the Kennedy Center and the National Museum of the American Indian Nov. 8 as part of the NMAI Classical Native program.
Classical Native is a series of recitals, chamber concerts, and discussions featuring American Indian classical composers and musicians.
In prior years, the event featured professional composers and musicians. This year organizers are focusing on student composers.
Jerod Tate, a Chickasaw composer of classical music, has been involved with Classical Native since its inception. He has also served as an instructor at the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy.
He said he chose these students because of the quality of their work.
"I think these are some of the more achieved students," said Tate. "I believe they have the talent and the skill to go into music if that's what they choose.
"This is an opportunity for me to say ‘I think you've got it in you, and here is an example of what that is going to be like if you do that.'"
All composition students hear their work performed by a string quartet at East Central University during a showcase at the end of the summer arts academy each year.
While Parker had been studying piano for 10 years prior to the academy, hearing his work performed before a live audience in 2005 helped him decide to continue studying music.
"I was really sad when it was over, because I wanted to keep writing different things and seeing what it sounded like on a string quartet," he said at the time. "That's what I wanted to keep doing, but they were gone after that week."
Now a junior at East Central University studying music and mass communications, Parker will get to relive the experience in a new venue.
His composition, "Past the Sun", was inspired by song lyrics written by his grandfather.
Parchcorn, who recently graduated high school, will hear a work she composed based on her childhood experiences.
"Emo Childhood" is a musical expression of emotions she experienced trying to reconcile her Native heritage and history with what was being taught in school.
"We have to try to see things in both worlds," she said. "As a kid I didn't know how to put it together, so I had two separate lives."
In her work, violins play a joyful, upbeat tune, while the viola and cello add a more somber tone. A hand held drum and shaker add a Native American feel.
Parchcorn said when her friends ask about her Native American heritage now, she is able to tell them what she learned form her father.
Duty, a high school senior, will also hear "Sadness Remembered", a work she composed in 2005, performed in the nation's capitol.
"I wrote it not even knowing how cool it would be to have it played at East Central, and that was a big deal," she said. "I can't even imagine (hearing it played) at the Kennedy Center.
"When I get there and I hear it, it's going to be amazing."
A talented and experienced singer, Duty plans to pursue music performance and composition in college.
Kate's mother, Kathleen Duty said the arts academy has been an "awesome opportunity" for her daughters to experience arts which have all but disappeared from public schools.
"I think when you are exposed to the arts, it helps you intellectually, it helps you emotionally and spiritually," she said, adding that she thought the academy had helped her daughters connect with their Native American heritage.
Kathleen also had high praise for Tate.
"Jerod as an instructor is one of the most awesome people on the planet. He has a real, genuine connection with the kids."
Log on to the following Web sites to hear the compositions.