Life of Stephen Foster, A Lawrenceville Native, Celebrated This Week

Issue Date: 
January 11, 2010

The life and accomplishments of Pittsburgh native Stephen Foster will be celebrated on Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 as the region marks the 146th anniversary of the famed composer’s death.

Foster was born in Lawrenceville on July 4, 1826, and he became a world-renown songwriter, portraying life in mid-19th America through such legendary compositions as “Old Folks at Home,” “Oh! Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” and “Beautiful Dreamer.”  Foster died at age 37 on Jan. 13, 1864, and is buried in Allegheny Cemetery, Lawrenceville.

The following events are sponsored by Pitt’s Center for American Music and the Allegheny Cemetery Association.

Jan. 13, 10 a.m.

Temple of Memories Mausoleum, Allegheny Cemetery, 4734 Butler St., Lawrenceville

• Remarks by Tom Starsenic, superintendent of Allegheny Cemetery;

• Medley of Foster songs performed by the St. John Neumann School Choir;

• Remarks by Deane Root, Pitt professor of music, director and Fletcher Hodges Jr. Curator of Pitt’s
Foster Hall Collection; and

• Placing of wreaths at the Foster gravesite.

Jan. 15, 9:30 a.m.

Pittsburgh CAPA High School auditorium, 111 Ninth St., Downtown

• Performance of select Foster arrangements by CAPA students;

• Performance of select Foster songs by jazz guitarist and educator Joe Negri; and

• Remarks by Mariana Whitmer, program coordinator, Center for American Music.