Students to participate in concert celebrating Native American culture – Susquehanna University

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04 November 2021

By Alaina Uricheck ’24

An original dramatic concert by Jennifer Wiley of Susquehanna, Associate Professor of Music, will be presented this month by the West Shore Symphony Orchestra.

From where I sit, from where I stand teaches “perspective and empathy, illuminating relationships between Native Americans and Europeans, in particular giving a foundation on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School,” Wiley said. “We thought this theme was particularly relevant given the location of the concert and the upcoming holidays.”

The Carlisle Indian Industrial School was one of the first government-run boarding schools for Native American children that forced the assimilation of Native children into white American society.

Wiley is a conductor of the West Shore Symphony Orchestra and has developed several educational and scripted concert dramas during his tenures at Susquehanna and the Orchestra.

“The purpose of these productions is to teach a variety of musical concepts while engaging young audiences (often encouraging participation) and exposing them to great orchestral literature of all styles,” said Wiley.

Wiley is joined by several Susquehanna students from SUNA (Susquehanna Natives and Allies) who will enhance the family-centered gig in various ways. SUNA students will stage scenes from the past, encourage audience participation, wear Indigenous clothing and share their ideas for the future.

Audience members of all ages will have the opportunity to hear music from Native American and American composers who have written on issues that impact Indigenous communities. The public will have the chance to participate for the duration of the program by shining mini flashlights (“spirit lights”) and waving blue streamers (“waterfalls”) as directed.

Students will take the stage at 9:30 am on Saturday, November 13 at the Carlisle Theater, 40 W. High St., Carlisle.


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