Lehigh Valley Song Project

July 2020

In a time of global pandemic and important discussions about racial justice and inequality, the Lehigh Valley Song Project was created to celebrate the connectedness and freedoms that benefit our communities. Top Lehigh Valley musical performers from across genres signed on to create a diverse, honest, hopeful look at the future – through song.

“This is an artistic response to this unique moment in history,” says Michael Duck, the project’s director and a Touchstone Ensemble Affiliate. “And we are choosing to respond by breaking down barriers, celebrating the ways we all help each other, and plainly stating that everybody deserves and needs freedom from disease, freedom from violence, and freedom from hatred.” The Lehigh Valley Song Project premiered in 2020 as part of Touchstone Theatre’s Festival UnBound.

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THANK YOU to Highmark Blue Shield for sponsoring the Lehigh Valley Song Project!

Highmark Blue Shield

Production Team
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If you can, please donate to support the musicians, artists, and producers who contributed to the Lehigh Valley Song Project, and to support future community arts projects at Touchstone Theatre.

LEHIGH VALLEY SONG PROJECT DONORS
Anonymous | Big Easy Easton Brass | Deb & Victor Chong | Eileen & John Dolcin | Jodi Duckett | Bridget & Bill George | Laurie Hackett | Amy Hoover | Alan Jennings | A grant from the Kraft Hillman Family Fund of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation | Michele & Frank Pappalardo | Jane Markson | Mary-Jo & Russ Miserendino | Carrie Morgan in Honor of Sharon Zondag | Carole & Bill Schachter | Roxanne Scheidt | The Sinkler Family | sjzconsultingLLC | Sunny Sonnenrein | Wally Trimble | The Zimmerman Family

Lyrics

Liberty
 is what we’re longing for
Liberty
 despite distance and closed doors
To keep our neighbors safe and healthy
 we’ve done all this and more
We’ve sacrificed and we took a stand,
 all across this land

Where the Lenape
 lived by the Bending Creek
Where the Bell of Liberty
 was hidden from Redcoat thieves*
Where believers from many nations
 came to worship free
Let’s live out the best parts of our legacy
 Lehigh Valley be Free

[chorus]
Everybody needs freedom
Everybody needs freedom
The people all deserve freedom
Let’s stand up for that freedom
Freedom – yes, that’s the only way
 Lehigh Valley, be free today

Freedom from disease
 that takes too many lives
Freedom from hunger
 so all families can thrive
Freedom from hatred –
 let’s cast our fears aside
As we come together, freedom makes us strong
 Freedom is where we belong

Freedom from violence
 from those who intimidate
Freedom from poverty –
 we know it’s not too late
Freedom from ignorance
 as we learn to change our fate
Freedom in the water and the air outside,
 freedom will free our minds

[chorus]

I’m just tryna be free
A gamer not a gangster, I’m just tryna be me
Been fighting all my life, yeah I witnessed some beef
For my twins I’ll fight just to give them peace

So I’m dotting all my I’s as I’m crossing my T’s
To show ’em what it means to live life at ease
Made a promise to my brothers, ‘n that promise I’ll keep
To skip the nightmares ‘n go straight for the dream

I’m against all the people that let power corrupt
The evil in this world is simply doing too much
I learn about the hustle, made it right out the mud
‘n got me a home for the people I love

Break bread with my bred’ren give ’em gems full of lessons
So our life don’t have to be the likes of Tekken 7
Love we have to mention, the answer to all questions
‘n once we have that, start collecting the blessings

So many hearts are opened
 by what we’ve all been through
Just like the the bread we’ll share,
 consciousness is rising too

We’re all connected:
 You help me and I help you
Stronger together, that’s how it will be
 Lehigh Valley be Free

[chorus]

In Allentown they need freedom
Yeah, Bethlehem, freedom
Over in Easton, need freedom
The whole Valley needs freedom
Freedom – that’s the only way
 Lehigh Valley, be free today

In Fountain Hill they need freedom
Salsbury needs freedom
Catasaqua needs freedom
Up in Slatington, freedom
Macungie, yeah, Parkland too
 freedom for me and you

New Tripoli needs freedom
Wind Gap, they need freedom
Over in Bangor, need freedom
In Hellertown, they need freedom
Northampton, Wilson, and Forks,
 Nazareth of course

*Although the song describes the Redcoats as “thieves,” the Revolutionaries who took the Liberty Bell (and other bells) from Philadelphia knew that if they had been caught, the Redcoats would have arrested them as thieves! To learn more about how this famous bell escaped being melted down and turned into ammunition for British muskets, visit the Liberty Bell Museum at Historic Zion’s Church in Allentown.

Production Credits

FEATURED PERFORMERS

VERSE 1: Bev “BC” Conklin of The BC Combo
VERSE 2: Eve Sheldon
VERSE 3: Carter Lansing of the Acoustic Kitty Project
VERSE 4: Camille Armstrong performing as CAMILLE WHO?
RAP VERSE: Matthew Mosley performing as GR3YS0N
VERSE 5: Kim Edwards

CUATRO PUERTORRIQUEÑO: Daniel Class of Herencia Jíbara
TRUMPET: Jeremy Joseph of the Big Easy Easton Brass
ELECTRIC GUITAR 1: Liliana Cunha of the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts
MANDOLIN: Dave Fry
ELECTRIC GUITAR 2: Dana Gaynor of the Dana Gaynor Band
BASS GUITAR: Bakithi Kumalo of The Graceland Experience
DRUM SET: Kevin Soffera of Hybrid Studios PA
CONGAS: Hector Rosado of Hector Rosado Y Su Orchestra Hache
PERCUSSION: Moe Jerant
ELECTRIC PIANO: Neil Grover
ACOUSTIC GUITAR: Michael Duck performing as Not For Coltrane

ADDITIONAL VOCALISTS

Alyssa Lou Allen
Maanya Gope of the Community Music School – Lehigh Valley & Berks
Phil Perhamus

ADDITIONAL INSTRUMENTALISTS

HARMONICA: Jacob Henry
BANJO: Donna Fisher
CLARINET: Nick Suarez of the Young People’s Philharmonic of the Lehigh Valley
BASSOON: Silagh White of Jakopa’s Punch
FLUTE: Emma Ackerman of Jakopa’s Punch
BARITONE HORN: Josef Keys of the Big Easy Easton Brass
TROMBONE: Jonathan Fenwick of the Big Easy Easton Brass
SOUSAPHONE: Caiden Flowers of the Big Easy Easton Brass
TROMBONE 2: Bob Peruzzi
THEREMIN: Christopher Shorr of Moravian College
MOOG: Jason Hedrington performing as HeadEye

SPECIAL GUESTS

The Rev. Joshua Knappenberger of the Liberty Bell Museum at Historic Zion’s Church, Allentown
Katie Brennan
Mila Sketch, mural artist
The Liberty HS Step Team
Kellyn Foundation
Alan Jennings of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley

LEHIGH VALLEY SONG PROJECT DIRECTOR

Michael Duck

PRODUCERS

Jason Reif of Freestone Productions
Michael Duck of Webfoot Digital
Kira Willey of Kira Willey Productions LLC

CREATIVE OVERSIGHT

Jp Jordan, Touchstone Theatre artistic director

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS

Seth Witcher, Freestone Productions
Katie Brennan, Kira Willey Productions LLC

SONGWRITERS

Michael Duck, as Not For Coltrane
Matthew Mosley, as GR3YS0N
Kira Willey

MIXING

Jason Reif of Freestone Productions

MASTERING

Pierre Salandy of OnPhire Master Mix

DEVELOPMENT TEAM

Lisa Jordan, Touchstone Theatre managing director
Sharon Zondag of sjzconsulting LLC
Bill George, Touchstone Theatre ensemble member / cofounder

SPECIAL THANKS

The Liberty Bell Museum at Historic Zion’s Church, Allentown
The Sigal Museum, Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society
Lisa M. Hopstock Kulp, assistant director, Community Music School – Lehigh Valley & Berks
Taylor Galassi, general manager, Young People’s Philharmonic of the Lehigh Valley
John Huie
Gerard Longo, Underground Music Collective
Rick Flores, president, The Greater Lehigh Valley Music Association
Amanda Benjamin