Lyric Fest to Present ‘The Song Catcher: The Folk Song Re-imagined’

By David Salazar

Lyric Fest is set to present “The Song Catcher: The Folk Song Re-imagined” on April 9 and 10, 2022.

The showcase will feature new works by such composers as  Gregory Brown, John Conahan, Michael Djupstrom, Melissa Dunphy, Jennifer Higdon, Allen Krantz, Gilda Lyons, Robert Maggio, Jeffrey Scott, and Benjamin P. Wenzelberg with performances by Charlotte Blake Alston, Steven Brennfleck, Cree Carrico, Jean Bernard Cerin, Devony Smith, Laura Ward, and Orchestra 2001.

“The idea was to create new works inspired by the spirit of the folk song,” Artistic Director Suzanne DuPlantis said in an official press statement. “We didn’t know how the composers would respond to this idea, but in fact, it was met with complete enthusiasm from all of them. They were encouraged to explore their own culture or a culture that interested them, or simply to make of it what they wanted. The resulting variety is amazing. Jennifer Higdon’s is Appalachian in spirit, and she wound up writing both words and music. Melissa Dunphy wrote a modern folk protest song in the spirit of Woody Guthrie and Gil Scott-Heron, Jeffrey Scott wrote a Brazilian inspired piece setting a poem that spoke to him, and our youngest composer Benjamin P. Wenzelberg, composed a setting of a Yeats poem that is folkloric in mood. These are only four of ten completely unique pieces!”

The April 9 performance is set to take place at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, PA, while the ensuing showcase on  April 10, 2022 will be held at the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Sanctuary in Bryn Mawr, PA.