Musicians of the Fort Smith Symphony and Music Director John Jeter (center).

“ ‘Volume 1 of the Florence Price series on Naxos Records was recorded by the Fort Smith Symphony and is credited as one of the catalysts in the current national and international rediscovery of the music of Florence Price,’ [Fort Smith Symphony Music Director John] Jeter says,” writes Becca Martin-Brown in last Sunday’s (5/8) Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “ ‘Price was born and raised in Arkansas and is recognized as the first African-American female concert composer.’… The next composer to benefit from the attention of the Fort Smith Symphony … is Louis Ballard (1931-2007), and according to Jeter, he is credited ‘as being the first Native American concert composer…. Ballard’s Quapaw and Cherokee lineages tie into the Native American history of our region…. His works are infused with Native American influences…. The Fort Smith Symphony will present … his music [next season]…. This music will then be recorded by Naxos Records … Ballard created a wonderful curriculum for elementary music education that uses Native American folk songs, [and] the symphony will be working with regional school systems to … include this Native American component into the current music curriculum.’ ” The article also reports on the Fort Smith Symphony’s 2022-23 season.