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Brother-Sister Team Powers New Native American Orchestra
Two Oklahoma City University alumni are founding members of The Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestra of classically trained musicians. Timothy Long has conducted the ensemble in performances at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, the American Museum of Natural History, and Rutgers University. The group performs music including the original score for a newly restored print of Edward S. Curtis’ 1914 film “In the Land of the Head Hunters.” His sister, OCU alumna Lisa Long, is the ensemble’s flutist. Both are Muskogee-Creek/Choctaw tribal members. Since its founding in 2008 by White Mountain Apache violinist Laura Ortman, the orchestra has played Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. Orchestra members come from Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma, New York, and Washington, D.C., and represent 13 nations. Timothy Long, a conductor and pianist, has upcoming debuts with the Orlando and Shreveport Opera companies as well as return engagements with the Companion Star Ensemble in Sweden, Opera Colorado, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Wolf Trap Opera. During the 2007–08 season, operatic conducting engagements included Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos with Wolf Trap Opera, Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking” at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” at Opera Colorado, and Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. For three seasons, Long was assistant conductor to Robert Spano at the Brooklyn Philharmonic, where he served as a cover conductor and led the orchestra’s 9/11 Memorial Concert in October 2001. He was an associate conductor at New York City Opera for two years. Long is a member of the faculty at the State University of New York Stony Brook. He is music director of Stony Brook Opera, and assistant to the music director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.