We are pleased to announce that Tony Isaacs has been selected by the Society for American Music as its Honorary Member for 2009. "Each year the Board of Trustees recognizes a well-known, prominent senior figure who has made important contributions to the field of American music by granting an honorary membership." Isaacs is being recognized for his many recordings of traditional American Indian music over the past 42 years. The induction ceremony was held at the Society's 35th Annual Conference, March 19th, in Denver, Colorado.
Isaacs spoke briefly about the early history of Indian House and then discussed Plains compositional form and Northern Plains performance technique to introduce Society members to what they would see the following day at the Denver March Powwow. Bill Runsabove of Lame Deer, Montana, and the Mile High Singers of Denver performed a variety of specially selected songs as an introduction to Northern Plains singing.
By honoring his recording work, Tony feels that the Society is really also recognizing and honoring traditional American Indian music. Although many studies of traditional Indian music have been done by individual scholars, this is probably the first time in U.S. history that a national academic organization has officially recognized this music. For this reason we are very proud of this honor.
To learn more about the Society for American Music, please visit http://www.american-music.org/. Previous honorees can be seen at http://www.american-music.org/membership/HonoraryMembers.php.