November 04, 2021

By Alaina Uricheck ’24

An original concert drama by Susquehanna’s Jennifer Wiley, associate professor of music, will be presented this month by the West Shore Symphony Orchestra.

From Where I Sit, From Where I Stand teaches “perspective and empathy, illuminating the relationship of Native Americans and Europeans, in particular giving a basic foundation about the Carlisle Indian Industrial School,” Wiley said. “We felt this theme was especially relevant due to the concert’s location and the upcoming holidays.”

The Carlisle Indian Industrial School was one of the first government-run boarding schools for Native American children that forced assimilation of Native children into white American society.

Wiley serves as conductor for the West Shore Symphony Orchestra and has developed several educational, scripted concert dramas during her tenures at Susquehanna and the orchestra.

“The goal of these productions is to teach various musical concepts while engaging young audiences (often encouraging participation) and exposing them to great orchestral literature of all styles,” Wiley said.

Wiley is joined by several Susquehanna students from SUNA (Susquehanna Natives and Allies) who will enhance the family-centered concert in a variety of ways. SUNA students will enact scenes from the past, encourage audience participation, wear Native dress and share their ideas for the future.

Audience members of all ages will have the opportunity to hear music by Native and American composers who have written about issues that impact Native communities. The audience will have the chance to participate throughout the duration of the program by shining mini-flashlights (“spirit lights”) and waving blue streamers (“waterfalls”) as directed.

Students will take the stage at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at the Carlisle Theatre, 40 W. High St., Carlisle.