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Colbert Hackler '43 Honored in Chickasaw Portrait Series
Ninety-two-year-old Colbert Hackler, who graduated from Oklahoma City University in 1943 with a degree in music education, is one of 24 Chickasaw elders memorialized in painter Mike Larsen’s series of portraits on display at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum through March 26. Larsen portrayed Hackler with a sly smile, seated and holding his violin. Entitled “The Fiddle Player,” Hackler’s image is part of the series, “I Am Very Proud to be Chickasaw,” the second group of 24 Larsen portraits commissioned by the Chickasaw Nation. All 48 portraits will be permanently installed at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, along with audio and photographs from Larsen’s interviews with the elders. Hackler also is profiled in a front-page feature in Jan. 18 editions of the Norman Transcript. Doris Wedge writes Hackler “can take pride that his musical influence casts a wide web today including both students he has taught individually, and those who are now music teachers. “ He continues to plays violin, 86 years after he received his first instrument as a Christmas present at the age of six. After graduating from OCU, Hackler taught music in Elk City schools, working with students from elementary through high school and culminating in his induction into the school’s Hall of Fame. Hackler still has several violin students, having cut back in recent years from as many as 60 private students. He continues to lead the 9:30 String Ensemble, a group of a dozen musicians, in weekly jam sessions. To read the entire article on Colbert Hackler and his work, visit