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.

Listen or download:

THANK YOU to Highmark Blue Shield and the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation for sponsoring the Lehigh Valley Song Project!

Highmark Blue Shield
The Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation

Production Team
Your support makes projects like this possible

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.

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


is what we’re longing for
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

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


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


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


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
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
ACOUSTIC GUITAR: Michael Duck performing as Not For Coltrane


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


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


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


Michael Duck


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


Jp Jordan, Touchstone Theatre artistic director


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


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


Jason Reif of Freestone Productions


Pierre Salandy of OnPhire Master Mix


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


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

Women Veterans Empowered & Thriving

Women Veterans Empowered & Thriving (WVE&T) was founded in September 2016 by Jenny Pacanowski, a veteran of the Iraq War, as a reintegration and empowerment program. Utilizing writing workshops, performances, and public speaking engagements, the organization strives to reconnect veterans with their mind, body, soul, and passion for life. Through creativity, compassion, and camaraderie in a nonjudgmental space, participants empower one another to ascend to the best version of themselves – and learn skills to thrive in daily life. Participants of WVE&T workshops and performances are encouraged to?share their stories of training, service, and reintegration, with each other and with civilians.

WVE&T and Touchstone met during the lead-up to Festival UnBound (2019), where they performed on Touchstone’s stage. Since then, Touchstone is proud to have become WVE&T’s new home base on the South Side. They’re in the building holding regular writing and performance workshops monthly on second Monday evenings and fourth Sunday afternoons; they also hold empowerment performances quarterly as a special event series throughout our season.

For more information, check out their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram

Festival UnBound

Visioning the future – through art – together

In 1998, after an almost 150 year history building this nation, Bethlehem Steel finally shut down steel-making here in Bethlehem. It was a traumatic event, and Touchstone, to help the community work its way through it, created and assembled several works of art and cultural projects into a festival called Steel Festival: The Art of an Industry – including the original play Steelbound.

In October 2019, 20 years after that extraordinary event, we began to explore questions of a different and perhaps more daunting nature. Who are we, now that the Steel is gone? What are the challenges ahead, and what are the values that will hold the community together as we face the task of shaping our future? Out of these questions came our first year of Festival UnBound, a collection of arts and community dialogue around concerns of diversity, sustainability, health, youth leadership, and interconnectedness. Check out this recap of the 2019 festival.

Over the next three years, the festival continued, furthering the discussion and bringing audiences together in a time when loneliness and isolation were the norm. We welcomed guest artists from across the U.S. and abroad, as well as new and longtime local partners, to dig deeper into the questions at hand. You can revisit 2022’s Festival UnBound via the final report.

Now, in its fifth year, Festival UnBound continues to change what it means to bring a community together and innovate new ideas to move us all in the right direction.