Cherokee National Youth Choir Releases New CD, 'For Our Future'

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With nods to their rich history and a fresh eye on the future, the award-winning Native language choir strikes a winning combination by warmly engaging their past - and passionately embracing their future on their seventh album.

Cherokee National Youth Choir 'For Our Future'

When the Roll Is Called up Yonder

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The Cherokee Nation has released 'For Our Future,' the latest CD from the award-winning Cherokee National Youth Choir. 'For Our Future' is the choir's seventh album release since their formation in 2002.

'For Our Future' highlights the strengths of the Cherokee National Youth Choir, by focusing on acappella songs for the first half of the album and featuring selections with instrumental accompaniment on the remainder. The choir's ability to move confidently between the more traditional vocal approach on the older songs, to the contemporary sounds of pop and rock on the newer songs, shows the versatility of the group, and demonstrates why they have taken the reins as America's top Native American youth choir.

"We recorded these songs to honor our heritage and celebrate our future," states Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. "Programs today, like the Cherokee National Youth Choir program, are implemented for the future of our children, so that they learn and use their language and pass on this part of their Cherokee heritage."

The sweet harmonies of the choir's young voices rise in unison to breathe new life into "North Wind," a traditional song set to the tune of the plaintive "Wayfaring Stranger." "O Happy Day" highlights the delicacy and depth of the choir's voices as they lift them in praise to the Maker. "Sanctuary," co-written by Randy Scruggs, places emphasis on the call-and-response of the choir's male and female voices to wonderful effect. The full gospel sound of the youth choir is fully crystallized in the evergreen, "When the Roll Is Called up Yonder" which resonates in the soul-stirring, rich beauty of the Cherokee language. The choir re-awakens the classic "I Would Not Be Denied," exposing the strong determination of the individual, when given voice by the many.

Opening with countrified fiddle and alternating bass lines, "City of Gold" marks the turning point in the production of the CD, moving away from strictly vocal, somber and traditional renderings, to more joyous and celebratory sounds with the addition of instruments to back the voices. Oklahoma-born Vince Gill's starkly beautiful ballad, "Go Rest High" is revisited here with good effect, featuring strong male lead vocal and supporting female harmony, buoyed by piano and full band accompaniment. "Victory in Jesus" bounces along with a 2/4 groove that proves infectious in a happy celebration of worship and praise. Delicate mandolin licks and piano underpin the strong melodic structure of "You Are My All In All," which builds to the intensity of a true anthem. "You Are Good" closes the CD in full pop-rock splendor, recalling some of the great gospel musicals which found their voice in the 1960's and 70's; but presented here with a fully modern sound.

'For Our Future' proves to be a watershed moment for the choir, as they warmly engage their past - and passionately embrace their future by opening new territory and announcing to the world, "We are Cherokee and we are proud!"

Audio production and engineering of 'For Our Future' was provided by Jeffrey Parker, and was mixed and mastered at Cimarron Sound Lab, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

About the Cherokee National Youth Choir:
The Cherokee National Youth Choir act as ambassadors for the Cherokee Nation, their beautiful voices showing the strength of the Cherokee Nation and its culture more than 160 years after the Cherokees' forced removal from its eastern homelands. The goal of the Cherokee National Youth Choir is to increase awareness of Cherokee culture both within the Cherokee Nation as well as among the dominant culture. Through the success of the Cherokee National Youth Choir, interest in the Cherokee language has been rekindled among young people throughout the Cherokee Nation. Several area schools now use the CDs as a learning tool and other schools are interested in developing curriculum to teach Cherokee language and music.

The Cherokee National Youth Choir is made up of 50 Cherokee young people from northeastern Oklahoma communities. The Choir members are middle and high school youth between 6th and 12th grades. The students compete in rigorous auditions every year for inclusion in the Cherokee National Youth Choir. The Cherokee National Youth Choir is funded solely by the Cherokee Nation, and administered through the Cherokee Nation Education Group.

'For Our Future' is available at, Apple iTunes and

To learn more about the Cherokee National Youth Choir, visit them online: or contact Mary Kay Henderson, Director, at (918) 931-1360 or Kathy Sierra, Coordinator at (918) 453-5638 or via e-mail: youthchoir (at) cherokee (dot) org

For CD review copies and interview requests, contact:
Clif Doyal, CDA Promotions-Nashville
Office: 615.885.5998 E-mail: CDAnashville (at) aol (dot) com

Choir production, and additional promotional and publicity services provided by:
Jeffrey Gray Parker, for
Cimarron MultiMedia Group, LLC
P.O. Box 816 Park Hill, OK 74451
Tel: 918.456.2525
Fax: 801.469.0840
E-mail: info (at) cimsound (dot) com


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