The Sylvia Herold Ensemble
Sunday, June 22, 2014, 3:50pm - 4:40pm
Faith Petric Stage - Auditorium

Sylvia Herold's discovery of Irish and British traditional songs more than two decades ago sparked in her an obsession for songs and singing. Since then, she has explored many styles. Sylvia also has a passion for American popular songs of the '30s and '40s and recorded four albums with the swing vocal trio "Cats and Jammers." Her experience with other genres, however, only renews her appreciation for narrative folk songs.

The melodies of these songs are beautiful, yet the words fascinate her the most. Epic tales are told in tidy fashion. We learn the protagonist's life story and watch the unfolding of a pivotal scene. Underplayed emotions only serve to heighten our empathy with the character's plight. The absence of explicit detail gives us the chance to fill in the story from our own experience.

Sylvia finds singing these songs gratifying and never tires of them. She is especially drawn to the sad ones, and her albums reflect a high proportion of them. "I don't sing these songs to feel bad; it is quite the opposite," states Sylvia. "Sometimes the sadder the song, the more satisfying and uplifting it is. So by now, I should be very happy indeed."