The Bach + Beethoven Experience presents The Story of Pa I Sha

The Bach + Beethoven Experience presents The Story of Pa I Sha

wed08nov7:00 pmwed8:30 pmThe Bach + Beethoven Experience presents The Story of Pa I Sha


(Wednesday) 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Epiphany Center For The Arts: The Sanctuary

201 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60607


Must be 21+

Event Details

The Bach + Beethoven Experience presents The Story of Pa I Sha

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Doors: 5PM for Golden Hour 

Showtime: 7PM 

Tickets: $20 - General admission | $60 - VIP table for 2 | $10 - Student 

About The Story of Pa I Sha
As a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, Artistic Director Brandi Berry Benson grew up looking at her great-great-great-great grandmother Pa I Sha’s portrait, which hung in her living room. Every time she gazed at her, she saw a woman of immense strength who carried the Chickasaw reputation of “unconquered and unconquerable." This musical work is inspired by Pa I Sha and will highlight three major stories in Brandi’s Chickasaw heritage. The first story is about Pa I Sha herself, who was full-blood Chickasaw and walked the Trail of Tears (or, more correctly, called The Removal by the Chickasaw tribe) in 1837 from her home in Mississippi to her new nation in Oklahoma as part of the Indian Removal Act. In Oklahoma, she married her husband, another full-blood Chickasaw, who also walked this trail. The second story is about Pa I Sha’s daughter, Mary Sheco, who was also full-blood Chickasaw, but married an Englishman. Because interracial marriages with the tribe were taboo at the time, they were forced to live in a railroad tent outside of town with their nine children. Their children and grandchildren were discriminated against to the point that some did not declare their full degree of Indian blood, or in some cases, dropped their indigenous identity altogether when required to register. Pa I Sha’s great grandson, Earnest Thaxton, is the last of Brandi’s relatives on the Dawes Rolls from Indian Territory. He was born in Indian territory before Oklahoma became a state in 1906. The third story is about how Brandi’s great grandfather Earnest Thaxton met her great grandmother, Sarah Elvera Tannehill. She had come to Texas from Illinois on a train when she was 12 years old around Christmastime. Her parents had told her that there would be no presents that year, but that they would still celebrate Jesus' birth. When they arrived, her family was invited to dinner by the people of the town and were given presents after all. The girls were given corn husk dolls and the boys were given whittled animals that were made for them. After Earnest moved to the Texas panhandle, he met and married Sarah, who gave birth to Brandi’s maternal grandfather. In partnership with the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, the Bach & Beethoven Experience (BBE) will premiere this work in November 2023 as part of Native American Heritage month. Using melodies from the Chickasaw Nation, the instrumentation of this work will include a narrator/vocalist, flute, Native American flute, violin, viola, cello, and percussion. The narration will be mostly in English, but will include some Chickasaw language in telling these stories. 

About the BBE The Bach + Beethoven Experience (BBE), a Chicago-based period instrument ensemble, makes classical music into community by building personal connections between our audience and our artists through stories, music, and interactive experiences. For this premiere, the instrumentation will include BBE co-directors violinist Brandi Berry Benson and flautist Leighann Daihl Ragusa, Choctaw vocalist and narrator Rachael Youngman, violin/violist Kiyoe Matsuura, cello, percussion, and more. For more info:

Golden Hour at Epiphany:

Stop by Epiphany for our live music series concerts, and be sure to hit Golden Hour before-hand for drinks and lite-bites! Doors open at 5pm Wednesday - Saturday for Golden Hour with 1/2 priced bottles of wine and other specials!

Come early to EXPLORE and DISCOVER your own EPIPHANY… our art galleries are open and there is free entertainment before the show!

Full Concert Calendar Here

Golden Hour Menu + Music Schedule

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