We have a great line-up of entertainment for the 2018 ALHFAM conference, featuring local talent. Music during the opening reception will be provided by Preston Ware. In addition to his talents as a graphic artist with the Oklahoma Historical Society (he designed this year’s program.), Preston frequently fills in at events as an interpreter. He will be playing music from the American Civil War and earlier. Preston plays a variety of instruments, some of which are handmade from vintage cigar boxes.
Just before the opening session with Cherokee Principal Chief Bill John Baker and OHS Executive Director Dr. Bob Blackburn, the Cherokee National Youth Choir will perform traditional songs in the Cherokee language. The choir was founded in 2000 as a way to keep Cherokee youth interested in and involved with Cherokee language and culture. Listen to the opening stanza of the USA National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, in Cherokee at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgPuLau1y50.
While enjoying dinner in downtown Tahlequah you will be treated to the talents of Cherokee folk musician Kalyn Fay Barnoski. Kalyn is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter, pursuing art in many forms. According to this Cherokee musician, she is part White but can’t prove it. Listen to a sampling of her music and learn about her struggle to fit into two very different worlds at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5O81UgpaI4.
Before the auction on Sunday night, sit and back enjoy food and drink as you listen to Cherokee National Treasure Robert Lewis, a native storyteller, author, and artist of Cherokee, Navajo, and Apache descent. Robert shares his culture through family stories and traditional stories. Robert works for the Cherokee Nation as a school and community specialist and conducts outreach classes and services in art, culture, and storytelling. He is also Adjunct Professor of Art at Northeastern State University, where he teaches classes in art and native crafts. Robert explains that “traditional stories are a voice for cultural identity of a particular tribe’s lineage and heritage, a vital link to preserving the rich oral traditions, and I find myself fortunate to be one of those storytellers retelling this knowledge and humor that has been passed down through time.” Learn more about Robert Lewis at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuqnbuPkrlo.
Sunday morning at the Cherokee Heritage Center ALHFAMers will have the opportunity to participate in a 1860s-style sermon and enjoy the Grity family singing hymns in Cherokee. Learn more about the Grity family and listen to hymns in Cherokee at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG1R0AMo09Y.
During the Presidential Banquet music will be performed by Tommy Wildcat. Tommy, a full-blood citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is a Cherokee cultural promoter, flutist, historical storyteller, lecturer, and traditionalist. In 2013 the Cherokee Nation honored Tommy by naming him a National Treasure for his flute music and river cane flute making. A self-taught composer of flute songs, Tommy learned his tribe’s traditional vocal songs from his father Tom W. Wildcat. Learn more about Tommy Wildcat and his music at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=27&v=Sz8Q0iMo4vs.
Before dinner at the Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum, watch Pawnee dancing demonstrations. Then, while you enjoy your dinner, you will be treated to cowboy singer and poet Jim Garling. Boots tap, hands clap, and grins grow like new spring grass during a Jim Garling performance. An Oklahoma native, Garling’s influences include Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, the Sons of the Pioneers, and Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, combining their sounds for just the right mix of old-style, acoustic western cowboy music and western swing. For a sampling of Jim’s music visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-95LeqsYYw.
And last but certainly not least are performers from the 30th Commemorative Pawnee Bill Wild West Show.