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Music Composition Academy

The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Chickasaw Composer Jerod Tate invite you to be part of the Music Composition Academy!  The Music Composition Academy will serve as a catalyst for community while teaching students to express their creativity and write original music.

Daily music composition lessons and activities will be part of the Music Composition Academy; with an emphasis on cultural understanding and finding human commonalities.

Participation Requirements



There is no cost to attend the Music Composition Academy.  Students must be committed to attending all activities to participate.

Academy Schedule

Students will have daily one-on-one composition lessons with Jerod Tate and at the conclusion of the music academy have a fully formed piece of music for either string quartet or wind quintet. Students will work and collaborate directly with the professional musicians of the SDSO who will give a public performance of their completed compositions.

Music Composition Academies will be held in two locations: Sisseton, SD (day camp) and Crazy Horse Memorial (overnight camp)

About Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate

Praised and honored for “his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism” (Washington Post), Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, born in Norman, Oklahoma, is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition.

In 2016, Tate was selected as one of five composer-orchestra pairs to participate in Music Alive, a national three-year residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. As Composer-in-Residence with South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO), Tate will be participating in the third phase of SDSO’s Lakota Music Project.

His commissioned works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and Santa Fe Desert Chorale. He is a three-time commission recipient from the American Composers Forum and he received a 2011 Emmy Award for his work on the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority documentary, The Science of Composing.

Tate earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and his Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Composition from The Cleveland Institute of Music, from whom he received the 2006 Alumni Achievement Award. In 2008, he was appointed Creativity Ambassador for the State of Oklahoma.\

Mr. Tate’s middle name, Impichchaachaaha’, means “his high corncrib” and is his inherited traditional Chickasaw house name.  A corncrib is a small hut used for the storage of corn and other vegetables.  In traditional Chickasaw culture, the corncrib was built high off of the ground on stilts to keep its contents safe from foraging animals.