by Stephanie Manning
Just before the Akron Symphony string section began a work by Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate on Saturday evening, conductor Christopher Wilkins turned to the audience, raised a document, and began to read. What he had in his hand wasn’t program notes. As a pairing to the work by Tate — a member of the Chickasaw nation — Wilkins read a land acknowledgement for the city of Akron, honoring the Indigenous people to whom the land belongs.
The piece, along with that reading, is just one example of the Symphony’s aim this season to elevate the music of underrepresented composers. On September 24 in E.J. Thomas Hall, the ASO’s 2022-23 season began with “American Fanfare,” which explored the complexities of American identity and culture.