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Stephanie Blythe brings songs of Kate Smith home to Crane

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POTSDAM — SUNY Potsdam alumna Stephanie Blythe, class of ’92, will be featured in her acclaimed Kate Smith tribute concert on PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center” this month.

Then, she’ll bring her performance from the Lincoln Center stage to the Crane School of Music in May, with a special benefit concert to support the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar.

Ms. Blythe presented “We’ll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith” as part of the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center, which was taped in February at the Time Warner Center. PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center” will air the concert on public television stations at 9 p.m. April 19.

Ms. Blythe and her frequent collaborator, Craig Terry, will bring “We’ll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith” to her alma mater at 7:30 p.m. May 21 in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. She will perform popular works from Ms. Smith’s career, including “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain,”“We’ll Meet Again,”“God Bless America,” and “Look for the Silver Lining.”

“Her tribute to Kate Smith ... is an unqualified triumph — with an emphasis on the oomph,” David Finkle wrote in the Huffington Post. “Blythe has the same friendly appeal and sense of humor Smith possessed. She exudes the same integrity and love, not only of the people for whom she’s singing, but of the country in which she’s singing.”

This season, Ms. Blythe performs in a new production of “Un Ballo in Maschera” as well as “Il Trovatore” and the Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera.

Tickets for “We’ll Meet Again” are $25 for the general public and $20 for SUNY Potsdam faculty, staff and students. All proceeds will benefit the college’s Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar. Contact the Community Performance Series Box Office at 267-2277 or visit www.cpspotsdam.org to purchase tickets. Tickets may also be purchased at Northern Music & Video in downtown Potsdam.

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Ms. Blythe co-founded the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar with Carleen Graham, a professor of opera at Crane, who is executive director. The program is a venue for emerging singers and pianists to cultivate their artistry through contemporary American art song. Now in its second season, the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar will return to Crane from May 20 to 25.

Six singers and three pianists (ages 23 to 35) were selected from a competitive, national audition to work with Ms. Blythe and Music Director Alan Smith, a noted pianist, vocal coach and composer and a member of the faculty at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and at the Tanglewood Music Center. Rounding out the team is associate director Audrey Saccone, a 2012 SUNY Potsdam graduate who is digital and social media manager at OPERA America in New York.

Other seminar events that are free and open to the public include two masterclasses with Ms. Blythe and Mr. Smith working with the Fall Island participants from 10 a.m. to noon May 23 and 24 in the college’s Snell Theater.

“The Music of Alan Louis Smith,” a lecture-recital featuring the composer and the seminar participants, will be offered at 7 p.m. May 23 in the Ralph Wakefield Recital Hall.

A culminating recital featuring the seminar participants will be performed at 7:30 p.m. May 25 in Snell Theater. These events are free, educational and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

THE DETAILS
WHAT: “We’ll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith” performed by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m. May 21 in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music
TICKETS: $25 for the general public and $20 for SUNY Potsdam faculty, staff and students, through Community Performance Series Box Office at 267-2277, www.cpspotsdam.org or Northern Music & Video in Potsdam. All proceeds will benefit the college’s Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar.
OF NOTE: Ms. Blythe’s Kate Smith concert taped in New York City will be shown at 9 p.m. April 19 on PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center.”
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