WHITE MILLS - Bluegrass returns to the stage of the Wildflower Music Festival on Saturday, July 13, with five multi-talented young women of Della Mae. Their music is a blend of acoustic country, folk, Americana and pop with a healthy dose of bluegrass. The performance begins at 6 p.m.
The Boston-based quintet is made up of musicians from incredibly different backgrounds, which have come together to create a sound that simultaneously respects tradition and invents something new. Della Mae consists of guitarist Courtney Hartmann, who graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music; veteran Nashville bassist Shelby Means; and mandolin player Jenni Lyn Gardner, whose background is traditional bluegrass, and singer-songwriter Celia Woodsmith, who’s played in rock and roll and blues bands. They were all handpicked by the fifth member of the band fiddler Kimber Ludiker.
"This kind of music, it’s hard to pin it down," Celia reflected in an article on Starplus.com, calling the band "very grounded in traditional music. However, we’re growing up in contemporary society. We’re a contemporary American roots band with a bluegrass flavor. We do a lot of original material. We really kind of try to put our own stamp on the music. It has notes of pop, and indie, and certainly blues."
"This World Oft Can Be," Della Mae’s Rounder Records debut, shows that like The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, and Punch Brothers, Della Mae is respectful of American musical tradition, combining centuries’ worth of musical influences with an emotionally tough, undeniably modern songwriting sensibility. In a relatively short period of time, the band has become a sensation in the music world, commanding a powerful collective chemistry with vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talent to spare.
In addition to playing festivals and clubs throughout the United States, Della Mae recently expanded the scale of its touring efforts after participating in the U.S. State Department’s American Music Abroad program. Selected as cultural ambassadors, the band spent 43 days traveling in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, where they collaborated with local musicians, taught educational programs for children, and played concerts for local audiences.
This Wildflower performance is sponsored, in part, by Bold Gold Media and The Lodge at Woodloch.
General admission tickets are $22; students 6 to 18 years are $11. There is no charge for children under six.
The general admission performance begins at 6 p.m. at the Wildflower Amphitheater on the grounds of the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary in White Mills, between Hawley and Honesdale. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and pack a picnic to enjoy the pristine setting. Light beverages will be for sale on the Sanctuary grounds.
Sunday free event
On Sunday, July 14, White Mills will be the perfect place for families to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon when the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary presents a special Wildflower Music Festival concert at 4 p.m. Picnics are allowed on the Sanctuary lawn before the concert. The concert features the talents of pianist Ying Zhao, a doctoral candidate at Penn State University. Her program includes selections from Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin.
As a graduate student and graduate teaching assistant, Ms. Zhao is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Pennsylvania State University, where she also earned her Master of Music degree in piano pedagogy. Her primary teachers include Steven Smith and Marylène Dosse. An active soloist, chamber musician and collaborator, Ying has performed frequently in recitals and concerts, including Penn State’s President’s Concert, Graduate Exhibition Awards performance, MOSAIC concert, opera productions with Penn State Opera Theater, Baroque Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra under Maestro Gerardo Edelstein.
This concert is the eighth year that newly emerging talent has been part of the Wildflower Music Festival. The Wildflower Steppingstones Concert for Young Artists was established to honor the memory of Jane Zwillinger Ables, who served as the Wildflower Music Festival Artistic Director for six years and also held the position of Executive Director for many of those years. Jane died following a short and unexpected illness in 2005.
Jim and Bette Asselstine sponsor the Steppingstones concert.
The Dorflinger Glass Museum will be open with free admission that day from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors may want to come early to walk the short White Mills Community Trail. The trail is about one-half mile from the Sanctuary and is located off Charles Street about 1/8th of a mile from Route 6.
Upcoming concerts in the Wildflower concert series include: Dali Quartet, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul (special $29 ticket), Tizer, and Susan Winters.
In the event of inclement weather, the performance will be held at the air-conditioned auditorium at the Wallenpaupack Area High School.
All performers and programs are subject to change. Tickets can be purchased at the gate the evening of the performance and in advance at
www.wildflowermusic.org or by phone, 253-5500. For additional information and directions, call (570) 253-5500 (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit online at www.wildflowermusic.org.