News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: October 31, 2003 (03-86)
Contacts: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952; Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970

Montgomery College Welcomes Award-Winning Native American Singer
Joanne Shenandoah to Teach and Perform on November 10 

            Montgomery College’s 2nd Annual World Arts Festival will feature the music of Grammy-nominated Native American singer/songwriter Joanne Shenandoah in a concert and workshop on Monday, Nov. 10, at the College’s Theatre Arts Arena, Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street.    

Shenandoah is an award-winning Native American composer, vocalist and performer.  A Wolf Clan member of the Iroquois Confederacy - Oneida Nation, Shenandoah uses her original compositions and striking voice to embellish ancient songs of the Iroquois with a blend of traditional and contemporary instrumentation.  From traditional chants to contemporary ballads, her music has been described as an emotional experience, a “Native American Trance.”  In 2002, she was selected as Native Artist of the Year.  For her recording “Peacemakers Journey,” Shenandoah was nominated for a Grammy, won the NAMMY for Best New Age and Best Producer, and won the 2001 Indie Award. 

Shenandoah’s workshop at Montgomery College, titled “Music - a healing force from an Iroquois perspective,” will provide an opportunity for students, educators and the public to talk with Shenandoah and learn about her music and Native American culture.  The free workshop will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Theatre Arts Arena on the Rockville Campus.

At 8 p.m., Shenandoah will perform in concert at the Theatre Arts Arena.  Joining Shenandoah on stage will be her sister, Diane Shenandoah; and Grammy-nominated cellist, Dawn Avery.  Avery, a Montgomery College music professor and the organizer of the World Arts Festival, has performed with artists, such as Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, and John Cale.  Her new cd, “True,” features world music from Native America, Africa, Brazil, Greece, and Mexico. 

Tickets are not being sold for this concert, but there is a suggested donation of $5 for Montgomery College students, faculty, and staff and $10 for the public.  All donations will go to the music student scholarship fund and the world music program at Montgomery College.    

The World Arts Festival is a year-long celebration of music, dance, storytelling, film, and visual art.  It features artists-in-residence, workshops, lectures, and performances by internationally recognized musicians, artists, dancers, scholars, and writers.  The Shenandoah workshop and concert are sponsored by Montgomery College’s Arts Institute, the music and women’s studies departments, Office of Equity and Diversity, and The Gatherings of the Office of Student Life.  Funding is provided by grants from The Webber Family Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. 

For more information about this or other world arts events, contact Professor Dawn Avery at 240-567-5035 or or log on to the College website at

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