University of Pittsburgh
January 9, 2000



Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 10 -- The life of Pittsburgh native Stephen Foster

will be celebrated throughout Pittsburgh on Thursday, Jan. 13, in an annual tribute to the country's first professional songwriter. The events mark the 136th anniversary of Foster's death.

Remembered as "America's Troubadour," Foster was born in Lawrenceville on July 4, 1826, and went on to become a world-renowned songwriter, portraying life in America's mid-nineteenth century through legendary compositions including "Old Folks at Home," "Oh! Susannah," "Camptown Races," and "Beautiful Dreamer," which is used to this day in television and films.

Foster died at age 37, and is buried in Allegheny Cemetery. His music continues to be enjoyed worldwide and the Stephen Foster Memorial on the University of Pittsburgh campus, which houses a museum, performance hall and research library, attracts visitors from around the globe.

Activities commemorating Foster include:

10 a.m. Wreath Ceremony, Temple of Memories Mausoleum

Allegheny Cemetery, 4715 Penn Avenue, Lawrenceville

Memorial service in front of the 15-by-9 foot Stephen Foster monumental stained glass window includes a wreath laying, a V.F.W Post presentation of colors, and a performance of Foster songs by the St. John Neumann School Choir, Lawrenceville.

12 - 1 p.m. Annual Memorial Service, Trinity Cathedral

Sixth Street, Downtown

Performances by Mt. Lebanon's Stephen Foster Elementary School chorus and "Dear Friends." Remarks by Stephen Foster collection curator Deane L. Root and Pitt Fulbright scholar Kazuko Miyashita. Professor Miyashita is studying Foster's music as a way of teaching American studies in her native Japan.

3 p.m. Wreath Laying, Stephen Foster Statue

Forbes Avenue, Oakland

Deane L. Root will place a wreath at Foster's statue on Forbes Avenue, adjacent to Carnegie Music Hall, and lead a chorus of

Foster music by all who wish to participate.