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Event to showcase tribe’s culture

Mon., May 12, 2008

Children and families can immerse themselves in the music and culture of the Spokane Tribe at a special program Sunday at CenterStage and the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

The event opens at 1 p.m. with free, kid-centric activities focusing on the tribe. It culminates with a Spokane Symphony concert at 4 spotlighting hundreds of Indian children from the tribe’s Wellpinit School on the reservation.

“The River is Calling” will be the last of the symphony’s family concerts this season.

Tribal drumming, a processional of tribe members in bright regalia and a native blessing will begin the concert.

The symphony will take the stage to perform “Children of the Sun,” a piece named for Salish language translation for Spokane.

Also on the bill is an audience participation number that will send a river of scarves and “salmon-bearers” rippling through the theater. And a chorus of tribal children will serenade the audience in Salish, their native tongue, and English.

“The kids are so excited about sharing their culture and have been working on this for the longest time,” said Annie Matlow, the symphony’s director of marketing and public relations.

Orchestra performances of “Salmon and Rattlesnake” and a separate original work showcasing native drummers will fill out the program.

Everyone is invited to participate in the pre-concert activities from 1-3 p.m. across the street from the Fox at CenterStage.

There will be a teepee, tribal music, dancing, Salish art, story-telling and games with native children and tribal elders.

The theater lobby will open at 3 p.m. for concert goers who’ll see additional presentations related to the tribe.

This cultural collaboration grew from symphony performances on the reservation in recent years, Matlow said.

Directing the orchestra will be Conductor Eckart Preu and Morihiko Nakahara, associate conductor.

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