South Dakota Indian students will hear original works played

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A composing boot camp is allowing teens and adults from a South Dakota American Indian reservation who may have never written a piece of music before to hear their original compositions performed by professional musicians.

Eight students and adults from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe and nearby community teamed up with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra as part of the Lakota Music Project, aimed at building relationships between American Indians and white communities. Two ensembles will perform the works at free concerts Thursday and Friday.

Composer-in-residence Jerod Tate says the student compositions are "very good music" and that he's "so inspired by the composer in them."

Although the program focuses on young American Indians, Tate - a Chickasaw from Oklahoma - says it also includes non-Indians.

The music composition academies include daily lessons in composing and activities emphasizing cultural understanding.

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