Stephen Foster program Sunday in Crystal Falls


CRYSTAL FALLS — An afternoon of music and history takes the Crystal Theatre stage in Crystal Falls with “Voices of the Past — A Tribute to Stephen Foster” at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Foster, a composer of “minstrel songs” who lived from 1826 to 1864, wrote some of the most popular themes of American music that anchored the early history of the United States.

“Voices of the Past” originally was a recording project released on the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

This nostalgic collection, is crossed with modern influences by a master cellist, pianist and vocalists that presents a renewed vision of the North American music heritage. Leading improvisation cellist Matt Turner has joined forces with Bill Carrothers, pianist, and Peg Carrothers, vocalist.

Cello, piano and voice reinvent some of Foster’s endurable melodies, such as “My Old Kentucky Home,” “Beautiful Dreamer,” “Oh! Susanna.”


Together, this trio takes 150-year-old songs that have been relegated in many people’s minds to the dustbin of musical history or dismissed as novelty tunes, and elevates their dark beauty to the highest level of art song.

Foster was the first professional American songwriter. He used his songs to bridge the gulf between the races and a divided nation.

Matt Turner is a respected improvising cellist and a professor in the Conservatory at Lawrence University. Equally skilled as a pianist, Turner performs in numerous styles and has shared the stage with Cape Breton fiddle sensation Natalie MacMaster, avant-garde musicians Marilyn Crispell, Peter Kowald, Guillermo Gregorio, Scott Fields and John Butcher, to name a few.

He has performed on more than 100 recordings.

Bill Carrothers has been a professional pianist for 35 years and makes his home in the Upper Peninsula. He has played many venues throughout the U.S. and Europe. In October 2000, Carrothers headlined the prestigious Rising Star Tour throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


He has been a leader on 26 recordings, all of which have received critical acclaim.

Peg Carrothers hails from “Nordeast” Minneapolis and lives in the Upper Peninsula with her husband, Bill, and two children.

Her musical training began as a young child and continued with a dedicated high school music program which helped develop her talents with leading roles in musicals and choir programs.

After continuing to college opera studies and graduating, she discovered the world of jazz and joined the jazz community to further study musical interpretation, performing at the Dakota, Artist’s Quarter, Music in the Parks series, and other local venues with many talented musicians.

Along with Bill Carrothers she’s performed in public with Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, Jay Epstein, Jacqueline Ferrier-Ultan, Adam Linz, among others and is featured on cellist Matt Turner’s CD, “The Voices That Are Gone” (Illusions).

This is the seventh event of the Crystal Theatre’s Gem of a Season 2017 Series. For more information, call 906-875-3208.