An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

"Winter Moons," a Ballet by Chickasaw Classical Composer, Jerod Impichchaachaaha Tate

Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate is a classical composer, citizen of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, and is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition. The Washington Post raves that “Tate is rare as an American Indian composer of classical music. Rarer still is his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism.”

Tate is a 2022 Chickasaw Hall of Fame inductee, a 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient from The

Cleveland Institute of Music and was appointed 2021 Cultural Ambassador for the U. S. Department of State. He is Guest Composer, conductor, and pianist for San Francisco Symphony’s Currents Program, Thunder Song: American Indian Musical Cultures, and was recently Guest Composer for Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Balcony Bar Program, Home with ETHEL and Friends, featuring his commissioned work Pisachi (Reveal) for String Quartet.

Winter Moons is a ballet in four movements based upon American Indian legends from the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountains, performed with a live storyteller to guide the audience. The title of the ballet is derived from the ancient idea that American Indian stories – some serious historical narratives, and others lighthearted bedtime stories for children, but all usually carrying a moral – are best told during the full moons of the wintertime. Winter Moons was Tate’s very first composition, commissioned by and dedicated to his mother, choreographer Dr. Patricia Tate. Spirit Chief Names the Animal People was part of the original version of Winter Moons and is now performed as a separate work with narrator.