Pennsylvania is home to North America’s largest reserves of anthracite coal. At the turn of the 20th century, the mining industry dominated towns like Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Pottsville. But as coal began to lose favor to more efficient alternatives like oil and natural gas, the mining industry virtually ceased to exist in these towns, leaving them disadvantaged and broke.
Renowned composer Julia Wolfe, who herself hails from rural PA, began to take in interest in the region’s coal mining history. Her oratorio, Anthracite Hills, is a revolutionary piece for chorus and sextet that brings to life the spirit and history of coal mining in Pennsylvania. On November 14th, Wolfe is set to perform her work at the Wyoming Seminary’s Kirby Center for Creative Arts, right outside Wilkes-Barre. Continue reading →