Native American performer to host residency

imageNative American singer, songwriter and visual artist Bill Miller will perform, tell stories and lead workshops during a residency starting on Sept. 14 at SUNY Oswego.

Miller’s appearance is one of many campus activities tying into this year’s Oswego Reading Initiative campus-wide book selection, Sherman Alexie’s “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.”
The book is a collection of short stories about struggling characters growing up on a modern Spokane Indian reservation.

“Bill Miller is an extraordinary storyteller, like his friend Sherman Alexie,” Artswego Coordinator Mary Avrakotos said. “While Alexie uses the short story to tell his tales, Bill uses songs. We think this residency will be very valuable to the campus and community.”

The headline event will be a concert with Miller, Jim Beer and drumming group Gathering Thunder at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. Beer is a Native American recording artist who blends traditional and contemporary sounds into his music. Gathering Thunder is a 15-member traditional Anishinabek powwow, or big drum, group that has showcased their culture and skills across the United States and Canada.

Tickets for the concert cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $7 for SUNY Oswego students. For reservations, contact Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Three workshops on Sept. 14 will feature Miller sharing his knowledge on diverse subjects. He will give advice on how to build a music career at 2:20 p.m. in Room 102 of Tyler Hall. Miller will address a “Business of Music” class, but the public is invited to attend this admission-free session.

At 4 p.m. in Room 41 of Tyler Hall, Miller will lead a workshop on playing Native American flute. He has performed the instrument for the Disney movie “Pocahontas” and the National Geographic special “Braving Alaska.” There is no admission fee, but advance reservations are requested by contacting Robin Reece at 312-2975 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

A “Racial Reconciliation” dinner and workshop, sponsored by the Coalition for Peace Education and Native American Heritage Association will feature Miller as guest speaker at 6 p.m. at SUNY Oswego’s Fallbrook Lodge. Attendees can also sample NAHA adviser Kevin White’s Native American corn soup during this informal program. Cost to attend is $10, payable at the event, but it is free to SUNY Oswego students. Reservations can be made by contacting Tyler Hall box office or e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Miller will also speak as part of the English writing arts Living Writers series at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, in Bell Auditorium, Room 213 of Hewitt Union. The public is invited to hear Miller discuss the creative process at this admission-free event.

For more information on Artswego events, visit the Oswego performing arts Web site at

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CONTACT: Mary Avrokotos, 312-4581, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

(Posted: Sep 01, 2004)