In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
The Cherokee National Youth Choir performs traditional songs in the Cherokee language. The choir is the result of a vision by Principal Chief Chad Smith, who saw it as a way to keep our youth interested in and involved with Cherokee language and culture.
The group is an important symbol to the world at large, demonstrating that Cherokee language and culture continues to thrive in modern society. Founded in 2000, the group has recorded numerous audio CDs. Choir members act as ambassadors, their beautiful and energetic voices uniting to show the strength of the Cherokee Nation and culture more than 160 years after its forced removal from its eastern homelands.
Interest in the Cherokee language has been rekindled among our young people through the success of the choir. Several area schools now use the CDs as a learning tool and other schools are interested in developing curriculum to teach Cherokee language and music. Principal Chief Smith and Deputy Chief Joe Grayson have pledged to make preserving language and culture a priority at the Cherokee Nation.
The Cherokee National Youth Choir is made up of 40 Cherokee young people from northeastern Oklahoma communities. The choir members are middle and high school youth between grades 6 through 12. The students compete in rigorous auditions every year for a place in the choir. The Cherokee National Youth Choir is funded solely by the Cherokee Nation and is managed by the Cherokee Nation Leadership Group.
Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.
In the Sweet By and By
Review: "Precious Memories is a collection of songs intended to provide comfort in those trying times of our lives," states Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. "It will provide remembrance of precious times and give us confidence to face future adversity and change. Under the direction of Mary Kay Henderson, the Cherokee National Youth Choir has fine-tuned their already superior vocal technical skills, and has made an all a cappella album that is certain to win even more fans. Precious Memories was recorded live at the Cherokee Nation Council Chambers, and from the title track opener, the warmth of a live performance draws in the listener. "Beautiful Home (Heavenly Home)" features a wonderful call-and-response interplay between the choir members, while "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be" each demonstrate the choir's solidarity in close vocal harmony. "Beulah Land" is a plaintive somber hymn, and even if one does not speak the language, you will be moved by the beauty of the sound and reverence of the message.
Review: Building One Fire opens with a narrative by Silverbird of a speech written by Chadwick "Corntassel" Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and segues into beautiful gospel songs, some delivered a cappella in Cherokee and English, and others with instrumental. Midway through the CD, the group delivers a unique Cherokee rendition of the universal favorite, "I'll Fly Away." The live recordings are prefaced by a spoken word introduction by McGee-Geneva, and the CD concludes with a poignant reading by Silverbird of "The Future of the Cherokee Nation," which was written by Redbird Smith, in 1918. The Cherokee National Youth Choir has made another great musical statement that will promote Cherokee language and culture, and further their role as "Ambassadors" for the Cherokee Nation.
Review: In the spirit of the true meaning of the Cherokee Christmas holiday, the Cherokee National Youth Choir delivers a CD of traditional and original songs of worship and celebration, entitled Jesus is Born Today (which is a translation from Cherokee, of the word Christmas). The album features powerful performances in the beauty of the Cherokee language. The CD opens with wonderful interpretations of "Silent Night" and "Angels We Have Heard on High," before moving into the title track "Jesus is Born Today," which was written by Parker and Janice Ballou. They are also joined by well respected Cherokee elder, Reverend Leroy Backwater in a narrative of "Grandfather's Christmas Story." The project soars with full choir productions and in selections by smaller groupings of choir members, accompanied by musical producer, Jeffrey Gray Parker.
Review: Voices of The Creator's Children, by the Cherokee National Children's Choir featuring two-time GRAMMY winner Rita Coolidge (who is of Cherokee descent) combines traditional Cherokee gospel music, and original compositions, sung both in Cherokee and English. Coolidge is spotlighted on four of the songs on the album, including the featured radio track, "On the Road Where They Cried," a song about the Trail of Tears that was created especially for the project, and was co-written by Geneva, Ballou and Parker. Other songs feature solo vocal performances by various members of the choir, and there is a spoken word piece delivered by Cherokee storyteller and musician, Choogie Kingfisher, which is used as an introduction to "Orphan Child." The 13-song compact disc concludes with a bonus track, which is a stirring rendition of "Amazing Grace," sung a cappella in Cherokee, by Coolidge.