Montgomery College - Endless Possibilities - HomeMy MC Login
Campuses at Germantown, Rockville and Takoma Park, Maryland Germantown Campus Home Rockville Campus Home Takoma Park Campus Home

News Release

Date: September 7, 2006
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

Subscribe to MC News
E-mail this release
Print this release

Montgomery College to Celebrate Native American Heritage with Concert
Janet Marie Rogers and Dawn Avery to Perform on Sept. 19

PHOTO EDITORS: For high resolution images of the concert performers, click on: dawnavery.jpg and janetrogers.jpg.

Montgomery College will celebrate the musical traditions of Native Americans with a concert on Tuesday, September 19, at 8 p.m. The Okenti Ensemble, led by Montgomery College Professor Dawn Avery, will perform works of contemporary Mohawk music. The compositions are the result of collaboration between Avery and writer Janet Marie Rogers. The concert will be held in the Music Recital Hall, which is located in the Music Building on the College’s Rockville Campus, at 51 Mannakee Street in Rockville. The performance is free and open to the public.

The Okenti Ensemble will perform using traditional hand drums and bone rattles as well as modern instruments. Their songs will focus on issues of concern to Native Americans of today, such as “decolonization,” land rights, racism, the environment, and peace. The duo will be joined by student members of the MC World Ensemble and radio host Jay Winter Nightwolf in a new work entitled, “Red Jacket Defends Native Religion,” for narrator, string quartet and percussion.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Janet Marie Rogers first started her career as an artist. She turned to writing in 1996, creating works of poetry, fiction, spoken word, and plays focused on her Mohawk heritage. She has also contributed pieces to magazines. Several years ago, Rogers began recording her poetry with a musical accompaniment and making the recordings available to her fans. She continues to be an active artist, decorating note cards and musical drums. Rogers now lives in the Six Nations territory in southern Ontario.

As a cellist and vocalist, Avery, the Montgomery College professor, has worked with Luciano Pavarotti and Sting. She performed on the Grammy-nominated album, “Breath of Heaven,” with Grover Washington, Jr. and played for more than 10 years with the Soldier String Quartet, specializing in Delta blues. Avery has three new albums of her music coming out this fall—“Alchemy: Music for Meditation,” “Viento,” and “Englewinds,” which features her compositions performed by the Englewinds woodwind quartet. This October, Avery will be a featured composer and performer at the Classical Native music festival held at the National Museum of the American Indian. Currently, Avery is teaching music at Montgomery College and directs the College’s World Music Ensemble, a student musical group. She frequently tours with her own ensembles, Okenti and CelloVision!

For more information about the concert, contact Professor Dawn Avery at 301-279-5035.

# # #

Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

Back to News