Praise for Saro

Praise for Saro

“During the course of my more than 50 years as a civil rights, labor and community organizer and musician in Appalachia and the South, I have had the privilege of working with and getting to know some truly amazing artists, activists and scholars. As extraordinary as so many of them are, few are as impressive in all three areas as Saro Lynch-Thomason. She is simply one of the most gifted, creative, committed, conscientious, self-starting, hard-working people I’ve gotten to know over these years.” – Musician and Organizer Si Kahn

“Having been a singer of traditional Appalachian ballads for over 50 years, it’s hard for this old warhorse to get chills when I hear someone sing. But, Saro Lynch-Thomason is the exception.
Saro sings with an intensity and intonation that belies her age. There’s something ancient that lives inside Saro’s voice. She sings with heart and soul and people listen. I consider her the singer among singers of her generation.”
–Sheila Kay Adams, NEA National Heritage Fellow, 7th generation ballad singer


Praise for Saro’s Workshops

“Our attendees loved Saro’s powerful vocal style, the deep research and inviting teaching method she brings to workshops, and her passion for the people behind her songs. As an organizer, working with Saro was a joy. She was always professional, quick to get back to us with programming ideas answers to questions, and flexible in dealing with last-minute hiccups.”

Ian McGullam
Youth Traditional Song Weekend Organizing Committee

“Thanks to Sara for sharing her gifts of teaching and singing WNC ballads.  Her capacity to form a cohesive group and spark our interest in the historical background of ballads was special.  We were able to sing together with gusto!  Continue on, Sara.”  —Elizabeth Wallace

“I loved Saro’s workshop on Appalachian Ballads. Saro is passionate about old ballads and keeping the tradition alive by adding verses or music to found lyrics. She made the whole process so fun & accessible. We were all singing right away and feeling a part of a long & beautiful tradition of story-songs. I was so inspired that i started writing a ballad the next day! I am so grateful that Saro brings so much love & caring & consciousness to these special songs. She is a local and national treasure for all of us.”  —Alinahh Ever

“Saro’s ballads workshop was wonderful. I loved her selection of ballads. The way she taught us the ballads worked well for me, especially her using her hand to show the rising and falling of the pitches as we repeated back phrase by phrase what she sang. The discussion of each ballad after we learned it was very interesting. It was super fun and all levels of singers could do well there.” —Kare Strong

Saro Lynch-Thomason is not only a marvelous musician, but also an exceptionally skilled teacher…Her “knee-to-knee” approach, her careful and thoughtful method of breaking down lengthy story-songs for quick absorption, and her relaxed but confident demeanor and expert grasp of the old songs contributed to a workshop environment in which all were able to make positive progress.”

– Dr. Marc Faris
Teaching Assistant Professor of Music Theory/Composition, East Carolina University


 Saro LT Marshall 2015 3