Buffalo concert

Saturday, April 14 at 4:30pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, April 15 at 4pm

Audience Comments

Press Previews
WUWM interview

TCD preview article

Journal Sentinel

WPR interview

Culture Club (Milwaukee Mag)

Press Reviews
Shepherd Express

Journal Sentinel

Third Coast Digest

Culture Club (Milwaukee Mag)

Concert Photos

Concert Program including song lyrics

Buffalo Nation (Bison bison) is a piece of theatrical music created by composer & Milwaukee native, Jerome Kitzke and librettist, Kathleen Masterson. Through music and text the work will illuminate the huge, varied, and largely unsung story of the American Bison from pre-history to present time, including the herd’s late 19th century decimation.  This story, which is simultaneously tragic and redemptive, ecological and social,was inspired fromhistorical records, contemporary ecological writings, contemporary fiction, aural histories of the Great Plains Indian Nations, and from imagination.  

A solo singer, actors, sound effects chorus, and instrumentalists will bring their voices to bear in representing not only the human characters, but the bison as well. According to Kitzke and Masterson, “As American creative artists, we have always been acutely aware of the non-static quality of history, and that the way we now live on this land is directly connected to the way we historically came to live on it. This piece will reflect that belief, and though the story it tells is an emotionally difficult one, it will, we believe, be one of redemption as well.”

Performed by Present Music, PIUS XI High School Choir, Norman Moses, Joel Kopischke, Alison Mary Forbes, Lisa Golda, and Kurt Ollmann.

Thank you to our sponsors and community partners! 

Support for Buffalo Nation (Bison bison) is provided by the Suzanne and Richard Pieper Family Foundation and numerous collaborating partners.  Buffalo Nation (Bison bison) is one of 40 international recipients of a 2009 Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund Award. The MAP Fund is a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.   Support for this project is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Wisconsin Arts Board, Forest County Potawatomi Foundation, Godfrey & Kahn, the Milwaukee Arts Board, Ronald Jacquart & Michael McCarthy, Patrice Wessel Elacqua, Elaine Stalheim, Reed & Nancy Groethe, and through New Music USA’s MetLife Creative Connections program. 

This performance is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional operating support provided by CAMPAC and by the generosity of foundations, corporations and individuals.

Present Music receives generous support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc.

Frontier Airlines is the official airline of Present Music.




 Buffalo Nation (Bison bison) score cover page