DRIVE-IN: AMERICAN FUGUE is a FREE two-week songwriting workshop, led by Obie Winner composer and performer HEATHER CHRISTIAN, that culminates with a community performance and sing-along on April 13.


Heather Christian and her team will spend two weeks at the Ancram Opera House teaching songwriting master classes to the community. The songs created in these classes will be informed by our region’s musical traditions and the community’s musical interests.  Heather will work with participants to write a cycle of songs about what it is to be right here right now in Ancram. This workshop and performance is part of a larger work that focuses on small American towns and the incredible people who live in them. The songs we will write in Ancram will be taught, performed and video documented at a community sing-along event; and any and all are encouraged to participate.

The residency has two parts:

WEEK ONE: April 2 – 6, Tuesday to Friday from 6:30p-8:30p; Saturday from 12p-5p; Enrollment is limited.

Participants will learn to write songs together. This week will be a healthy mix of “class” and “writing” with the goal of writing 4 songs as a collaborating group by the end of the week, and that beyond this week that you will continue to write many songs as an individual!

WEEK TWO: April 9 – 13, Tuesday to Friday from 6:30p-8:30p; Saturday TBD; Open to all.

The second week of this workshop is open to anyone who wishes to attend.
 Each night we will learn a song we wrote in week one and sing them together as a community. The final night we will perform all the songs we learned throughout the week at Ancram Opera House for a live audience!


Questions, please contact Susan at

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HEATHER CHRISTIAN is an Obie Award winning composer/theater maker/performer and a 2018 Sundance Time Warner Fellow. Composing/Performing credits include her own work Animal Wisdom Bushwick Starr, in addition to Mission Drift Nat’l Theater London, The World Is Round BAM, Annie Salem Ars Nova/Sundance Theater Lab, Of Mice and Men West Yorkshire Playhouse, and North, LaMama ETC.  Film composition credits include Lemon, (2017 Sundance Film Festival and SXSW) Gregory Go Boom, (Sundance Grand Jury Prize) and most recently, Adult Swim series The Shivering Truth.  She writes incidental music for plays, most recently A Winters Tale  (Public Theater NY), and the entire 2016 season at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Macbeth, As you Like It, Measure For Measure).  She was recently named one of TimeOut NY's Downtown Innovators To Watch. She has recently been seen in Taylor Mac’s 24 Decade History of Popular Music and in Toshi Reagon’s Parable of the Sower and is a long time collaborator in devised theater with the TEAM, Jane Comfort Company, Salty Brine, Mac Wellman, Big Dance Theater, and Taylor Mac. She has released 8 records, taught music composition at NYU and Princeton, owns and operates her own recording studio in Beacon, NY, and can be seen regularly in concert halls and dive bars as Heather Christian & the Arbornauts.