the symposium is free and open to the public

Friday, April 23rd, 1:00pm-5:00pm, Charity Randall Theater

• Welcome by Deane Root

• Introduction by Martin Giles, playwright, Beautiful Dreamers

Speakers and their topics:

Mariana Whitmer, PhD, special projects coordinator at the Center for American Music and executive director of the Society for American Music. “Stephen Foster’s Pittsburgh”

Susan Key, PhD, co-editor of American Mavericks: Musical Visionaries, Pioneers, Iconoclasts; author of articles on Foster, John Cage, and early radio. “Voices and Virtues: the parlor songs in Foster’s lifetime”

Deane Root, PhD, Director of  the Center for American Music, Professor of music at the University of Pittsburgh, and Editor in Chief of Grove Music. “How Foster’s Music Reached its Public”

Dale Cockrell, PhD, Professor of Musicology at Vanderbilt University, author of Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World and scholar of the music of Wilder’s Little House books.

"Stephen, Uncle Tom, Black Joe, and Lowly Joys and Sorrows"

Saturday, April 24th, 9:00am-5:00pm, Charity Randall Theater

Morning Session:

• Introduction by Thomas Hampson, baritone at the Metropolitan Opera, who recorded the CD American Dreamer: Songs of Stephen Foster (Angel, 1992). “Foster’s Songs as Part of America’s Classic Vocal Repertory” [Mr. Hampson will be joining us remotely]

Speakers and their topics:

Steven Saunders, PhD, Professor of Music at Colby College, co-editor of the complete works of Foster, and of the new Mel Bay songbook.
“The Allure of Foster’s Songs: Transcending Cultural Barriers”

Kazuko Miyashita, Professor of English and American Studies, National Institute of Fitness & Sports in Kanoya, Japan. Scholar on cross-cultural communication and American popular music
in Japan. “America as understood through Foster's songs in foreign culture:  Foster's music  as Japanese cultural heritage"

Joanna Smolko, PhD, co-editor (along with Saunders) of the Mel Bay edition of Foster's music revised for contemporary performance. “Southern Fried Foster: The Intersection of Race and Place in Looney Tunes' Borrowings of Stephen Foster Songs”


Afternoon Session (starting at 1:00)

• Introduction by Ken Emerson, the author of Doo-Dah: Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture and co-writer of the documentary PBS film, Stephen Foster (2001)

Speakers and their topics:

Kathryn Miller Haines, Associate Director of the Center for American Music; expert on Foster’s music in 20th-century media. “Foster’s Music in Popular Culture”

David Macias, Nashville producer of the CD Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster that won the 2005 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. " From An Idea to A Grammy: The Story Behind Putting Together Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster

Joe Weed,

producer, composer and film maker in California, and producer of Swanee: The Music of Stephen Foster
“Foster’s influence on America’s traditional music”

The symposium is co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Arts and Sciences

Faculty Research and Scholarship Program.