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Woodward D. Pealer Performing Arts Center, Pealer Recital Hall View map Free Event
View map Free Event

CES at FSU Presents Multiple Grammy Winner Bill Miller in Indigenous Peoples’ Heritage Celebration

The Frostburg State University Cultural Events Series and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will celebrate Native American traditions on Tuesday, Oct. 10, with a spirited performance from multiple Grammy-winning musician Bill Miller. The 7:30 p.m. concert will take place in the Pealer Recital Hall of FSU’s Woodward D. Pealer Performing Arts Center.

A three-time Grammy recipient for Best Native American Music Album, Miller has moved audiences around the world with music that amplifies the whispers of Native people’s hearts with his signature sound: thunder (the voice), wind (the Native American flute), water (the guitar) and soul (the story). Renowned folk musician Arlo Guthrie stated, “[Bill] has always reminded me of what our singers and writers are all about, singing what cannot be spoken, echoing what cannot be heard, in ways that ring true and honest.”

The son of Mohican and German parents, Miller used music to emerge from the entrenched poverty of his youth on a Wisconsin reservation. He has shared the stage with Eddie Vedder, Richie Havens and Tori Amos and appears as Native American flute soloist on the song “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s “Pocahontas.” He has received numerous Native American Music Awards honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. Miller is also an accomplished artist, and his paintings have appeared in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Chicago’s Trickster Gallery and New York’s American Indian Community House Gallery.

Immediately following the performance, WFWM station director Chuck Dicken will join Miller for a conversation with the audience.

During his Frostburg visit, on Monday, Oct. 9, Miller will present three additional events that are free and open to the public.

At 11 a.m., a music workshop, “Songs of the Spirit,” will take place at Clatter Café, 15 South Broadway. Miller will share the history of Native American music along with a demonstration of the Native American flute and drum.

At 1 p.m., “Three Elements of Native American Art” will also be held at Clatter Café. Miller will share a cultural overview of Native America while demonstrating on canvas the use of three traditional elements: function, beauty and spirit.

At 6 p.m., Miller will present a diversity and reconciliation symposium, “The Red Road to Victory,” at the FSU Adams/Wyche Multicultural Center at the Lincoln School. After opening in song with the Native American flute, he will illustrate the relationship between majority and minority cultures, the ineffectual result of teaching tolerance and assimilation and how to attain a redemptive culture of understanding and peace.

Several additional events are planned to celebrate Native American heritage. Events are free unless otherwise noted.

Throughout the month of October, Main Street Books, 2 E. Main St., Frostburg, will host a window display of Native American-themed books and other items.

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, from 4:30 to 8 p.m., Native American foodways will be highlighted with a community dinner at FSU’s Chesapeake Dining Hall that features an all-you-care-to-eat buffet, including dishes that incorporate the ingredients of traditional Three Sisters agriculture – beans, squash and corn. The cost per person is $14.75 and payment will be taken at the door. Advance registration is requested.

An Indigenous Arts and Culture Celebration will be held Sunday, Oct. 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Evergreen Heritage Center, 15613 Trimble Road, Mount Savage. The free event will feature multiple heritage activities, including an indigenous plant exhibition, a presentation about traditional herbal medicines, an art and nature workshop featuring Shawnee storytelling and printmaking with feathers, Three Sisters soup and corn pone samples, a historical display about local Native heritage and tours of the museum and nature center.

On Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m., Ryan Koons, Maryland State Arts Council folklife specialist, will visit Clatter Café to discuss the process of developing land acknowledgement statements, which recognize Indigenous peoples dispossessed of their land by settler colonists.

Tickets for Miller’s performance are $15 for adults; $13.50 for FSU employees, military and youth under 18; and free for FSU students. For more information, including ticket discount options, visit CES’ webpage at ces.frostburg.edu or contact the University box office at 1-866-849-9237 or 301-687-3137. The box office, located in the FSU Lane University Center, is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CES is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (msac.org) and receives financial support from the Allegany Arts Council and the City of Frostburg.

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  • Kamirah Billups

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