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Hildegard Center announces world premiere of Standing Bear: A Ponca Indian Cantata
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Hildegard Center announces world premiere of Standing Bear: A Ponca Indian Cantata

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Standing Bear collage copy

The world premiere of "Standing Bear: A Ponca Indian Cantata" is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4 at the Lied Center’s Carson Theater. The event will be live-streamed on NET (Nebraska Educational Telecommunications).

Hildegard Center for the Arts (HCFA) announces the world premier of Standing Bear: A Ponca Indian Cantata, at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 4) at the Lied Center’s Carson Theater, 11th and Q streets. The event will be live-streamed on NET (Nebraska Educational Telecommunications).

The HCFA of Lincoln, together with sponsoring partner, Southeast Community College Division of Humanities, will premiere a musical work by Emmy Award-winning Chickasaw classical composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, titled Standing Bear: A Ponca Indian Cantata. The 25-minute cantata was commissioned by the HCFA to share with a new generation the timeless story of Ponca Chief Standing Bear. 

In July 2016, the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska wrote an official resolution endorsing the project and granted funding to support the Nov. 4 World Premiere.

“Standing Bear: A Ponca Indian Cantata presents an exciting opportunity to ‘build bridges’ inspired by the life and legacy of Chief Standing Bear,” said Kim Einspahr, president of the HCFA.  “Using the ‘universal language of music,’ the premiere will be a chance to reflect, educate and to celebrate the courageous spirit of Chief Standing Bear and the determination and resiliency of the Ponca.”

Giving voice to Chief Standing Bear for the World Premiere will be Grant Youngblood, a Native American operatic baritone. Also featured will be the Rangbrook Ensemble, a professional string sextet, and critically acclaimed pianist Dr. Ken Hoppmann, also the project’s artistic director.

Composer Jerod Tate will conduct the premier and provide a lectured demonstration to guide the audience through the work. Guest presenters include: Larry Wright Jr., chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska; Judi gaiashkibos, executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs; and Joe Starita, professor at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNL and author of “I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice.”

'Live-streamed'

With the challenges of limited seating space and a “sold out” crowd, the Hildegard Center will have the premiere “live-streamed” via NET (Nebraska Educational Telecommunications). *It is important that all who want to hear the Cantata and learn more about Chief Standing Bear and the Ponca have the opportunity to do so. Now anyone in the world can experience the premiere performance—it truly becomes an international event," said Einspahr.

To access the performance, go to netnebraska.org and click on “Live and On Demand.” Or copy and paste the URL http://netnebraska.org/interactive-multimedia/culture/standing-bear-ponca-indian-cantata into the browser.

To be placed on a ticket waitlist for the theater performance, register at www. Eventbrite.com.

A “First Friday” meet-and-greet reception at 5 p.m. Nov. 4 with composer Tate, will be hosted at the Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St., prior to the performance. The reception is in conjunction with the museum’s bi-annual Contemporary Indigeneity Art Exhibition titled “Spiritual Borderlands.” This event is free to the public.

Throughout the week of the premiere, Tate and soloist Grant Youngblood will work with students in a variety of settings that include: St. Augustine’s Indian Mission School in Winnebago, Neb.; Lincoln Indian Center; LPS Arts and Humanities Focus Program; the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Lincoln Office; and UNL's Glenn Korff School of Music.

Standing Bear: A Ponca Indian Cantata is supported in part by the Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment and the sponsors; Southeast Community College Division of Humanities, the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation, the Great Plains Art Museum and the Center for Civic Engagement—University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Members of the Standing Bear Cantata Committee include: Kim Einspahr, Dr. Ken Hoppmann and Anne Woita.

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