American Songline is a musical journey I will be making in 2013 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway. I will travel the entire length of the route from New York to California, giving musical performances in every state.
When the Aborigines of Australia go on Walkabout, they follow trails established over the generations by their ancestors. As they follow these trails, they sing to their ancestors and, it is believed, summon them back into existence. These trails are called songlines.
I named this project American Songline to celebrate the roads that our “ancestors” made and to allow them to live again through music.
The Lincoln Highway is America’s first transcontinental road, originating in Times Square, New York and terminating in Lincoln Park, San Francisco. It was established in 1913 and traverses 14 states in all.
For an interactive map of the Lincoln Highway, click here.
My name is Cecelia Otto (most people call me Cece) and I am a classically trained singer and composer. I also love to travel, write and meet new people. Read my “About Me” page to learn more about me.
I will be setting out in mid-April in New York City, making my way westward along the Lincoln Highway until I reach the end of the road in San Francisco. The route will also take me through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.
For specific performance dates, see my Tour Dates page.
My program consists of songs either about the Lincoln Highway, or which were once performed at concerts along the highway in the first decades of its existence. You’ll hear a mix of folk songs, show tunes, operetta and classical numbers. The program will change slightly at each performance, so the only way to know for sure is to come to one of my concerts. :)
I am traveling on my own and performing with local musicians at each stop. In some cases, this will mean performing with small ensembles, but in most cases, I will be performing with just a piano player.
If you’re a musician, live near the Lincoln Highway and are interested in playing with me during my journey, drop me a line.
Absolutely! I want to keep American Songline a grassroots, community-centered project, so the more local help I get, the better the project will be. Here are some of the things I am looking for people to provide:
- Recommendations for performance venues
- Places to stay
- Musical accompaniment
- Monetary donations for travel expenses
If you can’t do any of those things, then all I ask is that you come to one of my shows — that, more than anything else, will make this project a success.