Stephen Foster, ‘Father of American Music,’ remembered at the Dietrich Theater

First Posted: 10/2/2014

“Beautiful Dreamer. Wake unto me. Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee.”

This song and other music of songwriter Stephen Foster, sometimes referred to as the “Father of American Music,” will be celebrated at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19 at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock with a free presentation by Bruce Young.

Stephen Foster: American Dreamer recounts his life, times and music. Starting with his birth in 1826 in Lawrenceville, now part of Pittsburgh, his early proclivity for music, his subsequent exposure to the minstrel tradition by age 10and his brilliant, but all too shor,t songwriting career, this program presents examples of music not only from Foster’s songs but music of the time that influenced him.

Bruce Young, a Pennsylvania Humanities Council Commonwealth Speaker, will sing and play guitar, fiddle, banjo and dulcimer to enlighten the audience about Foster’s life in an interactive performance suitable for all ages.

Stephen Foster’s music is part of the American Songbook. Favorites such as “Oh! Suzanna,” “Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair,” and “Beautiful Dreamer” are familiar to many. In all, Foster wrote over 200 songs in the parlor and minstrel tradition, hoping to support himself with his music.

This concert is sponsored by Sandy Vieczorek and Hildy Morgan. For information or reservations for free tickets, call 570-996-1500.

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