Singer-Songwriter Natalie Merchant Goes to Summer Camp

October 8, 2019

For many years, The ASCAP Foundation and The Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit organization that operates five summer camps in Fishkill, New York, have made it possible for over 3,500 New York City children to receive guitar and songwriting lessons from music teachers provided by The ASCAP Foundation. This initiative, called The ASCAP Foundation Summer Guitar Project, also enlists ASCAP members to visit the camp and spend time with the kids.

Enter ASCAP singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant! It was an exciting day in August when Natalie came to the camp to share her time and talents with several young female campers.

Natalie and the girls formed a circle where they talked, danced, laughed, sang traditional songs and shared stories. This was a wonderful, and for many of the campers, a rare opportunity to interact one-on-one with such a thoughtful, accomplished and prolific singer-songwriter. After receiving a gift of one of Natalie’s CDs, the girls pleaded with Natalie to sing one of her original songs. As you can see from the photos, it was a day filled with inspiration and entertainment.

Natalie Merchant joined the rock band, 10,000 Maniacs while still in her teens. The Maniacs scored four Platinum albums during Merchant’s tenure with the group as lead vocalist and songwriter. She initiated her solo career in 1995 with the album, Tigerly, a multi-Platinum best-seller. Since then Merchant has delivered an additional five acclaimed albums, including 2014’s Natalie Merchant, her first CD of all original music since 2001. and in 2015 she celebrated the 20th anniversary of that CD by releasing Paradise is There, reinterpretations of the songs from Tigerlily with a string quartet.