Arkansas’ Fort Smith Symphony and Music Director John Jeter. Photo courtesy of Fort Smith Symphony.

In Thursday’s (12/7) WRR Radio (Dallas, TX), host Kurt Rongey interviews Fort Smith Symphony Music Director and Conductor John Jeter about the Arkansas-based orchestra’s new release on the Naxos label. The CD features the Fort Smith Symphony performing the music of Louis Wayne Ballard, considered the first indigenous North American composer of orchestral music; Ballard’s extensive knowledge of the music, dance, and mythology of this culture informed his compositions. Ballard’s eclectic style embraced tonal and twelve-tone elements, and the pieces on the album, including world premiere recordings, reflect the variety of his achievement. The Fort Smith Symphony previously issued widely acclaimed recordings of the works of Black American composer Florence Price, and has worked to bring forward music by other underrepresented composers.