Nashville, TN (February 25, 2008) -- The Cherokee Nation has released the new CD, Precious Memories, by the award-winning Cherokee National Youth Choir. The choir's sixth CD. On the heels of their Macy’s Day Parade appearance on national television, the youth choir takes a confident step forward by recording their first acappella album. There are no musical instruments - just the beautiful voices of the youths – the “instruments” given to them by the Creator.

Recorded in the later months of 2007, it has warmed the hearts of many, cherokee and non-cherokee alike. These songs may be heard in churches and some newly translated like "It is Well With My Soul" and "Beulah Land."

This might sound like a bold move for a choir who has built their reputation by collaborating on past recordings with very talented musicians and world-class singers such as Rita Coolidge and Dolly Parton. But, on the first listen to Precious Memories it becomes clear that the Cherokee National Youth Choir is strong enough vocally to strip everything away and reveal the rich depth and clarity of their native vocals. As they lift their sweet voices in praise, the choir moves from strength to strength, highlighting each component of the group as they showcase their beautiful Cherokee native language in song. Precious Memories demonstrates how the Cherokee National Youth Choir has won numerous NAMMY awards, raising them to international prominence and placing them on the world stage at the White House, the Kennedy Center, and the Smithsonian Institute, among others.

“Precious Memories is a collection of songs intended to provide comfort in those trying times of our lives,” states Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “It will provide remembrance of precious times and give us confidence to face future adversity and change.”

Under the direction of Mary Kay Henderson, the Cherokee National Youth Choir has fine-tuned their already superior vocal technical skills, and has made an album that is certain to win even more fans. Precious Memories was recorded live at the Cherokee Nation Council Chambers, and from the title track opener, the warmth of a live performance draws in the listener. “Beautiful Home (Heavenly Home)” features a wonderful call-and-response interplay between the choir members, while “Sweet Hour of Prayer” and “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be” each demonstrate the choir’s solidarity in close vocal harmony. “Beulah Land” is a plaintive somber hymn, and even if one does not speak the language, you will be moved by the beauty of the sound and reverence of the message.

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” finds the choir deep in the spirit of the time-honored gospel favorite. “In the Sweet By and By” features angelic soprano and alto voices soaring over the underpinning of strong baritones who provide the wind under their wings. “It is Well with My Soul” is serene and soothing.

Three songs on Precious Memories are repeat performances for the choir. These originally appeared on their debut CD, Voices of the Creator’s Children (which featured the Grammy-winning Coolidge). “Amazing Grace,” returns here in a wondrous new incarnation, while “One Drop of Blood” builds with great drama and intensity in this call-and-response tribute to the Creator. And the third, “Orphan Child,” has been called “Our national song of comfort,” by Principal Chief Smith. It is widely believed that “Orphan Child” was sung along the “Trail of Tears,” as tribal members buried family and friends who were unable to survive the long grueling forced passage to their new home.

Precious Memories is a solid record, and shows the growth and maturation of these talented and confident young adults.

Audio production and engineering for Precious Memories was provided by Jeffrey Parker, Margarett Parker, and Dixie Weathers, and was mixed and mastered at Cimarron Sound Lab, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

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