Emmy Award-winning classical composer dedicated to American Indian classical composition

Jerod Tate is an Emmy Award-winning classical composer and proud member of the Chickasaw Nation. The composer's works are dedicated to the development of American Indian classical composition.

Tate received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, where he studied under Dr. Donald J. Isaak. He went on to obtain his MM (Master of Music) in Piano Performance and Composition from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied under Elizabeth Pastor and Dr. Donald Erb.

"What I love about contemporary Indian art is that for the most part, you can just tell that it is Indian," the composer said. "A lot of it has those icons. You will see feathers. You will see braids. You will see horses, a lot of the icons that are associated with Indian country ... That's what I like to do with music. Instead of visual icons, we have icons of sound."

Jerod Tate serves as the Artistic Director of the Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival. He is also the Composer in Residence for the Chickasaw Nation and the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy.


  • Winter Moons ballet score commissioned by Dr. Patricia Tate and premiered at the University of Wyoming in 1992
  • Composer in Residence for the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s Native American Composer Apprentice Project in 2004 and 2005
  • Recipient of the Joyce Award in 2006
  • 2006 Alumni Achievement Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Appointed Cultural Ambassador for the State of Oklahoma in 2008
  • Received an Emmy Award for his work in the 2011 documentary, The Science of Composing