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Opera tour shares Indigenous music, culture with Montana students

Intermountain Opera Bozeman is bringing Indigenous music and culture to about a dozen schools around Montana as part of its first ever school tour.

As part of the Wheels of Harmony tour three Indigenous artists share about their heritage with students, sing opera songs, and play traditional music. Artists include Cherokee mezzo-soprano Kate Morton, Choctaw baritone and native flute player Mark Billy, and Chickasaw composer and pianist J Cruise Berry. The two-week school tour wraps up this week with a performance in Drummond.

At a recent performance at Lame Deer High School on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in southeastern Montana, Berry and student Shandin Kaline connected over a piano piece composed by a Navajo artist.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.