Grammy award winner performs Native music

Grammy award winning singer, songwriter, and  icon of the Native American Community, Bill Miller gave a performance for Chadron State students and citizens at the Galaxy Series event in Memorial Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m., last Thursday.

Miller started his performance by replaying a conversation when he was 19-years-old with his friend who predicted that he would be famous and wealthy.

Miller was also told that his music would be a bridge to the world, and he will win three awards. Moreover, his friend said that Miller would be married and have five kids. Miller was joking that he didn’t want to have five kids at that time.

All these predictions came true. It is important to say that all these happened in the Pine Ridge Reservation, where he came from with his college friend.

“I’m here, I hope I can encourage you, if not change a part of your life for the better,” Miller said.

Miller said his trip to Chadron was long and difficult.

“I drove the whole trip,” Miller said. “There were things happening to me that didn’t want me to get here: my car broke down in Indiana, I drove 794 miles and got in two snowstorms. But I made it and I’m here.”

He said he met great people in Chadron and he would like to spend more days here, go to the Pine Ridge and relax there as he used to do when he was 19, but he had to leave the next day, which made him sad.

After the memories of the past, he started to play the flute.

Miller talked about the importance of praying, which he learned to do in the Indian Native Way.

“I talk to my creator every minute I can,” he said.

Also, Miller talked about styles of singing. He explained how the Northern Indian style is different from Southern Indian singers.

He talked about birds, and their representation of the spirit of the soul in flight. He remembered how he saw two golden eagles, his favorite birds, which were facing a storm.

“That is a beautiful image which effects you for the rest of your life,” Miller said.

Miller talked about his college time and his friend Dave. It’s not a surprise that the time spent in college are some of the best times in people’s life. He thought the best times were spent with Dave.

He talked a lot about Dave’s family and their relationships, which impressed him because they were close. Dave’s dad was taking care of his family compared to Miller’s father, who would physically fight his wife.

Miller was playing songs between his speeches which allowed the audience to think about the songs’ relation to their lives, to rethink something because each of the songs that he played had a meaning.

Miller was talking do his audience simply. He was joking, and people were smiling, and laughing. Some stories from his life made people to think about their lives and families.

At the end of Miller’s performance there was a line from people who wanted to thank him for coming to Chadron and sharing his wisdom.

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