Composer, Librettist – Executive Producer

Growing up in Dutchess County,NY, he was Pete Seeger’s neighbor. Now settled in the foothills of Appalachia, the Kentucky-based songwriter is a touring folksinger with ten released albums, two published books and several underwritten projects under his belt. He created and hosts the weekly Americana broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour that airs weekly on over 500 public radio stations around the world and is broadcast as a TV series on PBS stations coast-to-coast. He also authored the play Walden:The Ballad of Thoreau about Henry David Thoreau, registered for performance by over 8,600 colleges, schools and community theaters in 42 countries. Underwritten by E.ON-US, the Walden play was produced as a hi-def TV broadcast for PBS stations and used as an Earth Day special.| |




The Team

Everett McCorvey


Opera Producer and Director

Dr. McCorvey is the Director of Opera at the University of Kentucky, and Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. He received his degrees from the University of Alabama, including a Doctorate of Musical Arts. He has performed in many cities around the world and theaters across the country, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Kennedy Center, Aspen Music Festival, Blossom Music Festival, Whitewater Opera Company, Radio City Music hall, Birmingham Opera Theater, Teatro Comunale in Florence, Italy, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, England, as well as performances throughout Spain, the Czech & Slovac Republics, Austria, Japan, China, Brazil, Poland, Portugal & Hungary. As a recitalist, Dr. McCorvey has given concerts, masterclasses and workshops throughout the United States, Europe & Asia as a soloist. Dr. McCorvey presented a recital and Master Classes in Beijing, China & recently returned from Warsaw, Poland where he performed with the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra.



Network Director – TV Adviser

With 22 years of industry experience directing various primetimeNBC, CBS and ABC television shows including Golden Girls,Newhart, EmptyNest,The 51st, 52nd and 54th Academy Awards and others.Mr. Smart is now teaching college level screenwriting and television production.Mr. Smart has been a member of the Director’s Guild of America since 1975, and as Associate Director of the Academy Awards telecast, was twice nominated for the Guild’s highest honor, “Outstanding Directorial Achievement.” Mr. Smart was also the television director for the national broadcast ofWalden:The Ballad ofThoreau, as seen in 87MUSATV homes on PBS stations coast-to-coast.



John Jacob Niles Center for American Music – Adviser

Ron Pen was an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Kentucky where he also served as Director of the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, Director of the Appalachian Studies Program, and Coordinator of the Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology. His journal publications include reviews and articles on aspects of vernacular American music. He is the author of I Wonder AS I Wander: The Life of John Jacob Niles (University Press of Kentucky 2010). Pen is both a scholar and performer of traditional Appalachian music; Pen is also the recipient of both the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Lance Brunner


Associate Professor of Music, University of Kentucky – Adviser

Mr. Brunner is amusic historian and Associate Professor ofMusic with the University of Kentucky. Lance Brunner brings an unusual perspective to hismusical scholarship and teaching. A graduate of Brown University, he earned his MA and PhD degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.He also studied in Germany at the University of Erlangen. He has won numerous awards and fellowships, including the Elliott Prize from the American Mediaeval Academy and the Notes Prize from the Music Library Association, as well as awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, and the German Academic Exchange Service. Dr. Brummer held a Kellogg National Fellowship from 1985-1988.


Craig Cornwell


KET/PBS TV, Director of Programming – TV Adviser

Mr.Cornwell is the Director of Programming for the statewide PBS affiliate in Kentucky (KET) and also serves as Executive Producer for many of the network’s award winning programs. Mr. Cornwell authorizes the distribution of programs like the WoodSongs and the special event EarthDay broadcast of Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau to PBS affiliates via NETA. He also oversees the closed captioning process of special projects. Craig has a B.A. in Fine Arts from The College of William and Mary and anM.S. in Communications from Syracuse University.

Roger Duvall


WEKU-FM NPR, Station Manager – Radio Adviser

With nearly three decades of experience in public radio, Mr.Duvall enhanced the programming of several major NPR systems, including Alabama Public Radio. Currently, he is the station manager of WEKU-FMNPR at Eastern Kentucky University and was the radio advisor for the successful launch of radio drama Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau and of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour to over 500 public radio stations nationwide.

Kari Estrin


Artist Manager, Producer – Event Adviser

Ms. Estrin is celebrating 40 years in themusic business as successful artist manager, concert and event producer and muchmore. SKari also produced the Woody Guthrie Celebration concert at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. – including Guy Clark, Marty Stuart, Nanci Griffith and Janis Ian. In the 80’s Kari produced over 70 shows, mostly at Harvard University and occasionally using Symphony Hall, featuring artists like Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie, DocWatson and David Bromberg. In addition to publishing folkmusic’s The Black Sheep Review, Kari co-founded The Chris Austin songwriting contest and was Asst. Festival producer for both Newport and Merlefest.

Pam Lewis


Director, President PLA Media – Media Adviser

Pamela Lewis is a graduate of Wells College for Women with a B.A. in Economics, Marketing and a minor in Communications, with additional graduate course work at Fordham University, The NY School for Social Research, and The Publicity Club of New York. Ms. Lewis served as National Media Director at Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment, where she was part of the original publicity andmarketing team that launched MTV, and worked with Nickelodeon, The MovieChannel and the Arts & Entertainment Network. Among her many clients incuded country music super star Garth Brooks. Ms. Lewis was the media director for the successful launch of PBS and NPR drama Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau and the weekl yWoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour to over 500 public radio stations nationwide.

Loretta Sawyer


Publicist and Online Marketing – Media Adviser

Loretta Sawyer provides music promotion and publicity with multi-media contacts with extensive national connections, with focus on folk, americana, and acoustic music. Her credits include over 200 published articles in national magazines, association publications and newspapers, includingNEA/Today, SongwritersMonthly, andmany others. She is the former editor of New Accountant, Real Estate News and Chicago Bride Magazines. Ms. Sawyer is also contributing national publicity and promotion for Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour and the national public television broadcast of the Walden Play.