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Special Events

For the Eleventh Annual Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert, the Festival reprised a theme - Beautiful Beyond - that had been featured as a special event in 2003 and was the subject of a Smithsonian Folkways recording released in 2004, on the occasion of the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). For several years, NMAI had conducted a project to document the singing of Christian songs in Native languages. More than twenty-five groups in fifteen communities were recorded, including Mohawk, Cherokee, Navajo, Kiowa, Comanche,Yup'ik, and Hawaiian. In some communities the hymns are translations from English-language hymnals, sung in three- or four-part harmony, while in others the songs are "made" by Native singers and sung in unison. Besides singing in church, the singing groups are in demand for community events, especially funerals and wakes.

The Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert brought together singers who appeared on the Folkways Recording (Nancy and Mark Brown, of the Eastern Band Cherokee, and a group of Comanche hymn singers from Lawton, Oklahoma) as well as Navajo flute player Vince Redhouse and Marla Nauni, a Comanche- Seneca hymn singer.

Other evening concerts took place on the Sounds of the Forest Stage featuring musicians from the Forest Service program or the Latino music program; the resulting documentation is found under the respective program.

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