Music Department
Faculty & Staff
Jerod Tate
Adjunct Instructor of Music

Email: jtate@okcu.edu
Office: FA 316
Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate – born in 1968 in Norman, Okla. – is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and a 2011 winner of a regional Emmy Award. He joined the faculty of the Bass School of Music in 2011.

He is dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition. A recent review by The Washington Post states, “Tate’s connection to nature and the human experience was quite apparent in this piece ... rarer still is his ability to effectively infuse classical music with American Indian nationalism.” This review was a response to a performance of Iholba’ (The Vision), for solo flute, orchestra and chorus, which was commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Iholba' and Tracing Mississippi, Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, were recorded in 2007 by the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Chorus and are currently available on Thunderbird Records.

In 2006, Tate was the recipient of the Joyce Award, which supported the commission of Nitoshi’ Imali, Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, which premiered in 2007 with soloist Jason Vieaux, and the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis, conducted by Cary John Franklin. His new work, Lowak Shoppala’ (Fire and Light), for orchestra and children’s chorus, commissioned by the American Composers Forum Continental Harmony Project, premiered on November 21, 2009, in celebration of the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Tate received his BM in piano performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Dr. Donald J. Isaak. He received his MM in piano performance and composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Elizabeth Pastor and Donald Erb. Shortly after beginning his piano studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, his first composition, Winter Moons ballet score, was commissioned by Dr. Patricia Tate and premiered at the University of Wyoming in 1992. The Colorado Ballet subsequently performed it in 1994 and 1996.

Tate has received numerous commissions and his works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, the New Mexico Symphony, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Dale Warland Singers, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, to name a few.

Tate is artistic director of the Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival. He is composer-in-residence for the Chickasaw Nation and the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy, and for the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s Native American Composer Apprentice Project in 2004 and 2005. In 2007, he was composer-in-residence for the Joyce Foundation/American Composers Forum, teaching composition to American Indian high school students in Minneapolis. In 2009, Tate conceived, coordinated and implemented the CD project Oshtali: Music for String Quartet. The album consists of original compositions by his students from the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy and is the first professional recording in history of works by young American Indian composers.

Tate received the 2006 Alumni Achievement Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music, was appointed a cultural ambassador for the State of Oklahoma in 2008, has received awards from Meet the Composer and the Percussive Arts Society, and is a 2011 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship nominee.

In 2011, he received a regional Emmy Award from the Heartland Division of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his work in the documentary The Science of Composing. The OETA documentary covered his residency with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, where he taught composition to seven world-renowned research scientists. Their compositions culminated in a public performance at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art by members of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

Tate’s middle name, Impichchaachaaha’, means “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.