| Earlier this year, they shared a stage
with country superstar Vince Gill. This time, the Cherokee National
Youth Choir is ready to perform with legends.
Opening for the Oak Ridge Boys on Thursday
at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, the choir
will perform "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Lean on Me." The groups
will share the stage for an encore of "Elvira."
On Jan. 15, in front of a sold-out crowd
at The Joint, the youth choir joined Gill in a rendition of "Go
Rest High on That Mountain."
"It is a great leadership exercise when
our youth get the opportunity to perform on stage with such well-known
talent, especially when our youth are performing in Cherokee," Chad
Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, said in a statement.
"This is another opportunity for our youth choir to see the production
and witness a performance of such great magnitude."
Since 1973, the Oak Ridge Boys have released
27 studio albums, including 11 that have peaked in the top 10 of
the Billboard country music charts. The band has released 56 singles,
including 17 No. 1 hits as well as an additional 15 tracks that
have reached the top 10.
Throughout its career, the band has crossed
formats multiple times. In 1977, the Oak Ridge Boys sang backup
on the Paul Simon hit "Slip Slidin' Away," and in 2009, the band
covered the White Stripes' hit "Seven Nation Army" for their most
recent release, "The Boys Are Back."
They have performed with legends like
Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Bill Monroe, George Jones and Shooter
Tickets for Thursday's performance are
still available for Thursday's 8 p.m. performance and start at $35.
The choir, which is made up of more than
50 Cherokee youth from northeastern Oklahoma, performs traditional
Cherokee songs in the Cherokee language.
"We translated 'Go Rest High On that Mountain,'
and included it on our 2008 CD, 'For our Future,' Henderson told
the World in January. "(The song) includes Cherokee sentiment and
translated into our language easily. It immediately became a favorite."
Students compete in rigorous auditions
every year to become a part of the choir, and members are in junior
high and high school.
According to the Cherokee Nation's website,
Smith helped establish the group in 2000 as a way to keep the culture
and language alive for the next generation.