Jay Smar to share local coal history musical heritage at Dietrich Theater

First Posted: 6/12/2014

The Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock will present Folklore and Coal Mining Songs of the Northeast on Sunday, June 29 at 3 p.m. The free musical program highlights the struggles and disasters of coal miners in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Jay Smar will explain the origin of, and play documented and researched original compositions from, the region’s coal mining past.

His vocals will be accompanied by his guitar, claw-hammered banjo, fiddle, and clog dancing. For this performance, Smar will be accompanied by Hickory Project’s Steve Belcher on bass, adding another dimension to the concert.

No stranger to the Dietrich, Smar was a guest performer at the theater’s Gathering of Singer/Songwriters over the years, and was a featured performer for the fundraiser after the disastrous flood of 2011. Now he returns, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.

An accomplished songwriter, Jay has three albums to his credit. To compose his songs, he has researched historical facts about Pennsylvania in a number of libraries throughout the coal region. He explains how his research becomes poetry, and then he puts it to music.

Folklore and Coalmining Songs of the Northeast is the third concert in a series of four at the Dietrich Theater, a series called Pennsylvania’s Musical Heritage. The final concert in the series will feature Stephen Foster: American Dreamer October 19, exploring the life, times, and music of America’s great 19th century songwriter.

All are free performances, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and private donors.

For information or to reserve free tickets call 570-996-1500. Tickets will be available at the door as long as they last.

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