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Press Release

Release Date: April 21, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Chickasaw classical music composer Jerod Tate’s “Ghost of the White Deer,” a concerto for bassoon and orchestra, will be performed by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic April 29 in Ada.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Ataloa Theatre, located in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center on the East Central University campus.

Solo bassoonist Ron Ackmann will be featured. Oklahoma City Philharmonic Maestro Alexander Mickelthwate will conduct.

Tickets to the Ada performance may be secured by visiting www.ecok.edu/hbffac-box-office.

Additionally, a performance of “Ghost of the White Deer” is scheduled April 30 in Oklahoma City. That show will begin at 8 p.m. at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave. Tickets may be purchased by going online to www.okcphil.org.

Ackmann is associate professor of bassoon at the University of Oklahoma, where he is a member of the Oklahoma Wind Quintet and director of the Sooner Bassooners. He also serves as principal bassoonist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and previously served at the Tulsa Philharmonic as principal bassoonist for 22 seasons. Ackmann’s other performance affiliations include the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Solisti New York, Kansas City Symphony, and the Muisca nel Chiostro, Spoleto and Assisi Music Festivals in Italy.

Tate describes the composition as a romantic and dramatic bassoon concerto which tells the legend of two young Chickasaw First Americans in love. In this concerto, the bassoon depicts all aspects of the characters, specifically the timbre and calling of the sacred white deer.”

The composition concerns the couple Blue Jay and Bright Moon. To win Bright Moon’s hand in marriage, Blue Jay must slay a sacred white deer for the tribe’s leader. Blue Jay delivers what would normally be a mortal arrow wound to the deer’s heart, but the deer attacks him. After months of not seeing Blue Jay, the tribe decides he will never return. However, Bright Moon observes the white deer with its mortal wound through the wisps of campfires and believes the deer will eventually succumb and Blue Jay will return to her.

The score is a continuous work delineated by the following sections:

Prelude

Laughing Minko

The Forest

Shared Dreams

Dawn/Sunrise

Out of the Ashes

Ghost of the White Deer

Tate is an acclaimed First American composer whose work has been performed by many of the nation’s top orchestras and has been performed abroad as well. He currently is working on “Shell Shaker: A Chickasaw Opera” with songs performed in the Chickasaw language. It will premiere next year in Massachusetts.

“Ghost of the White Deer” was commissioned by noted bassoonist Ted Soluri and premiered February 2020 with a performance by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at its famed Meyerson Symphony Center.

Soluri serves the Dallas Symphony as principal bassoonist.