University of Oklahoma Announces Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate as 2023 Composer-in-Residence

Internationally acclaimed composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, has been named composer-in-residence at the University of Oklahoma School of Music for the spring 2023 season. From April 2023, Tate will present lectures, participate in classes, teach students and collaborate with the University of Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra.

Of his appointment, Tate said, “It has been my life’s passion to thrive with my Oklahoma and Native communities. This appointment allows me to bring my best to my own people and I am deeply honored and grateful for this opportunity.

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

Tate is a 2022 Chickasaw Hall of Fame inductee, a recipient of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award, and named the 2021 U.S. Department of State Cultural Ambassador. He is guest composer, conductor and pianist for the San Francisco Symphony’s Currents program, Thunder Song: American Indian Musical Cultures, and was recently guest composer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Balcony Bar program, Home with ETHEL and Friends. , with his commissioned work Pisachi (Reveal) for string quartet.

His commissioned works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, Canterbury Voices, Dale Warland Singers, Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Recent commissions include Shell Shaker: A Chickasaw Opera for Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra, Ghost of the White Deer Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra for Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Hózhó (Navajo Strong) and Ithánali (I Know) for White Snake Opera Company. His music was recently featured on the HBO series Westworld.

Tate has held positions as composer-in-residence for Music Alive, a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA, the Joyce Foundation/American Composers Forum, NewView Summer Academy in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Grand Canyon Music. Festival Native American Apprentice Composer Project. Tate was the founding composition instructor of the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy and taught composition to Native American high school students in Minneapolis, the Hopi, Navajo, and Lummi reservations, and Native students in Toronto.

Tate is a three-time recipient of the American Composers Forum, recipient of Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Program, recipient of the Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni Achievement Award, Governor-appointed Ambassador of Creativity for the State of Oklahoma and Emmy Award winner. for his work on the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority documentary, The Science of Composer.

In addition to his work based on his Chickasaw culture, Tate has worked with the music and language of several tribes, such as: Choctaw, Navajo, Cherokee, Ojibway, Creek, Pechanga, Comanche, Lakota, Hopi, Tlingit, Lenape, Tongva , Shawnee, Caddo, Ute, Aleut, Shoshone, Cree, Paiute and Salish/Kootenai.

Among the recorded works available are Iholba’ (The Vision) for Solo Flute, Orchestra and Chorus and Tracing Mississippi, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, recorded by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, on the Grammy Award-winning label Azica Records. In 2021, Azica released Tate’s Lowak Shoppala’ (Fire and Light) recorded by Nashville String Machine featuring the Chickasaw Nation Children’s Chorus and Dance Troupe; vocal soloists Stephen Clark, Chelsea Owen, Meghan Vera Starling; and narrators Lynne Moroney, Wes Studi, Richard Ray Whitman. About the album, Sequenza21 wrote, “Tate has clearly taken the Western musical tradition and found a compelling voice that incorporates his home culture.” His commission from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Pisachi (Reveal) appears on the ETHEL String Quartet’s Documerica album. In the summer of 2022, Azica Records will release Tate’s first-ever composition, Winter Moons, as well as his Moonstrike, recorded by Apollo Chamber Players.

Tate received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Dr. Donald Isaak, and his Master of Music in Piano Performance and Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Elizabeth Pastor and Dr. Donald Erb. . He has performed as lead keyboardist on national tours of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon on Broadway and has been guest pianist and accompanist for Colorado Ballet, Hartford Ballet and numerous ballet and dance companies.

Tate’s middle name, Impichchaachaaha’, means “his high corncrib” and is his inherited traditional Chickasaw house name. A corncrib is a small hut used for the storage of corn and other vegetables. In traditional Chickasaw culture, the corncrib was built high on stilts to protect its contents from foraging animals. Learn more at

Photo credit: Shevaun Williams

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