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Drum group, school orchestra share stage

The Smokey Hills drum group shared a gym floor with the Fergus Falls High School Chamber Orchestra at the Pine Point School this past Friday, bringing together over two hundred people, in a celebration of music and culture.

"I thought it was pretty cool," Devon Dominguez from the Smokey Hills traditional drum commented. "It was interesting to have those two kinds of music come together."

Libby Otto, a sophomore at Fergus Falls, played the violin in the orchestra, and commented," It was great for both of us to learn. To see the drum group play in person was a really bigger impact."

The traditional Pine Point drum opened the cultural exchange with a set of intertribal songs, followed by a variety of classical and adapted music played by the Fergus Falls Chamber orchestra, under the direction of Mark Solie. Tribal Land Commissioner Mike Swan performed the opening blessing, and Tribal Chairwoman Erma Vizenor addressed the community.

"The food was amazing," said Emma Delgartelaere of the Fergus Falls school. "The drum group was mesmerizing."

The event featured Indian tacos, with buffalo meat supplied by John Hinchley of rural Park Rapids, strawberries preserved over the summer from Gary and Wendy Kircher, Leonard Hammer and other farms, and tomatoes donated by Don and Pam Skarie, who also donated salsa. Also in attendance were school representatives from both Red Lake and Leech Lake reservations who had come to view the Pine Point farm to school program.

"That was an experience," Steven Greenfeather from the Smokey Hills Drum said, summing it all up. "I don't know much about orchestra, but that was some good music."