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Full ensemble, Henhouse Prowlers

Premiered in 2016, Voices from the Dust Bowl is a 12-minute, newly-commissioned work composed by Steve Snowden for 5HE’s full instrumentation, inspired by public domain field recordings and photographs of migrant workers in California in 1940-1941. The work is presented as part of a performance collaboration with Chicago bluegrass band Henhouse Prowlers. Along with music by living composers that engage American folk music, both ensembles team up to explore original arrangements of classic Woody Guthrie songs and forgotten melodies from the Alan Lomax Archive and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. 5HE partners with national worker rights advocacy organizations such as Latino Union and Interfaith Worker Justice to explore the life of modern day workers through captivating interviews. This project combines projected images, field recordings, interviews, and newly composed music to create an immersive audience experience, highlighting the lasting impact of this pivotal period in American history.

Carolina Moon live at Old Town School of Folk Music:


John Harbison  – Amazing Grace

Antonio Vivaldi – Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, L’autunno, mvt. I: Allegro

Steve Snowden  – Voices from the Dust Bowl 

James Weigel, arr. Henhouse Prowlers – Ain’t It a Shame  

Dana Wilson – Shallow Streams, Deep Rivers, mvt. III 

Marc Mellits  – Flatiron, mvt. V: Mahogany  

Pete Seeger – Don’t Want Your Millions, Mister

Woody Guthrie, arr. Eric Heidbreder– Deportee

Ben Wright, arr. Henhouse Prowlers – Rosebud Rounds the Yard

Valerie Coleman, lyrics by Chisanga Simwenwa – Umoja 

John Harbison – Will the Circle Be Unbroken? 

Louis Andriessen – Workers Union

Hugh Broughton, arr. Henhouse Prowlers – Carolina Moon

Past Performances

Voices from the Dust Bowl at Old Town School of Folk Music Sunday, May 1st 2016, 3:00pm Old Town School of Folk Music 4544 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL Capacity: 250

Voices from the Dust Bowl at Constellation Sunday, May 8th 2016, 8:30pm Constellation 3111 N Western Ave Chicago, IL Capacity: 150

About Henhouse Prowlers

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Eleven years in the making, Chicago’s Henhouse Prowlers have built a reputation for hard work and non-stop touring, playing music inspired by the roots of bluegrass while branching out into a sound uniquely their own. From lightning fast picking, to sentimental ballads—playing storied original material, traditional songs, and contemporary covers—The Prowlers’ live show leaves no one wanting.

Resting on no haunches, the Prowlers just released a new album “Still On That Ride” in the summer of 2015. Along with their cover of the Nigerian pop hit “Chop My Money,” the album consists of 13 original songs with each member collaborating in contribution. The band is beyond excited to put out their most self-authored work to date!

The boys have worked with the US State Department on four separate trips in ten different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Russia, and put yet another notch in their European belt this summer, touring all over the Benelux and beyond. Continuing to push the envelope with their highly original songwriting, tight arrangements, and electrifying stage presence–with the bluegrass mantle on their shoulders and the best fans in the world by their side, The Henhouse Prowlers are here to stay for a long, long time.

For more information, visit www.henhouseprowlers.com

About Steven Snowden


The music of Steven Snowden has been described as “Beguiling… combining force with clarity” (San Francisco Classical Voice), “Wonderfully dynamic” (Interlude Hong Kong), “Rustic, red-blooded” (New Music Box), and “Marvelously evocative” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Writing music for dance, theater, multi-media installations, and the concert stage, he is equally at home writing acoustic and electro-acoustic music and has taken a keen interest in interdisciplinary collaboration and live electronic audio manipulation as a tool for improvisation.

Snowden’s work often deals with concepts of memory, nostalgia, and the cyclic nature of historical events as they pertain to modern society. While his musical influences are deeply rooted in bluegrass, folk, and rock, he utilizes non-traditional techniques and processes to compose works that don’t squarely align with any single genre or style.

A native of the Ozarks countryside, he began composition studies in 2002 at Missouri State University and subsequently earned his Masters degree at the University of Colorado and Doctorate at the University of Texas. In 2012-2013 he was a Fulbright Scholar in Portugal, researching and implementing motion tracking technology as a means to facilitate collaboration between music and dance. In 2013-2014, he was a visiting professor and composer in residence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and is the co-founder/director of the Fast Forward Austin Music Festival.

He currently works as a freelance composer and is on an eternal quest to make the perfect breakfast taco.

For more information, visit www.stevensnowden.com